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Drug operation crackdown in Boscombe

Officers in Boscombe have targeted suspected drug dealers and their associated criminality in an operation – with 56 warrants executed in one year.

Operation Crackdown, part of the Dorset Police’s county wide Operation Dismantle, has now been running for one year, with officers utilising community intelligence to target suspected individuals.

Specially trained officers used warrants to search properties believed to be involved in drug activity, and seized any paraphernalia or drug material found.

Chief Inspector Chris Weeks said: “Information gathered by Dorset Police from our communities, partners and officers on patrol made it clear that there was organised illegal drug dealing taking place in Boscombe Central.

“The information we are given is reviewed and then acted upon as soon as is possible.

“Following this positive action, over the past 12 months Dorset Police have executed 56 misuse of drugs warrants. In excess of 65 drug related arrests were made and 11 offenders charged to date.

“In my opinion, the figures alone evidence the fact that we do listen to what our communities tell us and we will always take positive action where there is sufficient evidence to support applications for warrants.

“Hi-visibility foot patrols are tasked daily to focus on anti social behaviour, street drinkers, rough sleepers and open drug dealing in the area. Anti social behaviour has reduced by 260 incidents compared to this time last year.

“Even though, we have seen this reduction, we understand how anti social behaviour can impact on our communities and in response to local concerns we have just achieved a ‘Section 30’ order in Boscombe Central. This legislation will allow us to effectively reduce street drinking and disperse groups of people who would otherwise potentially intimidate members of our community.

“The order is not designed to create an exclusion zone or a curfew area, but is intended to make the area more pleasant for those who live, work and visit. Police will not necessarily disperse people in this area just because they are in a group; it is aimed at giving police additional powers to deal more effectively with groups who decide to cause problems. Anyone who refuses or breaches the notice can be arrested and may be punished on conviction with a custodial sentence of up to three months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £2,500. 

“In addition to this, we are a few months into a new strategy to remove on street prostitution from Central Boscombe. This has already seen a number of vulnerable female prostitutes going into rehabilitation and 63 men convicted for kerb crawling this year.

“The enhanced policing presence is our business as usual approach and will continue. This style of policing is aimed to reduce anti social behaviour while sending a clear message to those involved in criminality that it will not be tolerated.

“Together with our partners we are positively focused on local concerns with a view to make a real difference now and in the long term.”

Councillor Jane Kelly, Cabinet Member for Partnerships and Regeneration, said: “We are working closely with the police to tackle crime in Boscombe. Unfortunately, there is no one quick fix to make the changes needed to improve Boscombe and this will not happen overnight. That is why the Boscombe Regeneration Partnership are fully committed in the long-term to tackling a number of key issues in the area, including crime, housing, unemployment and education and are fully signed up to making a real difference to Boscombe.

“As a local resident I can say that the area as a whole, is generally a safe place to live but unfortunately we’ve seen a number of incidents take place which is a great shame and over-shadows the positive work that is taking place in Boscombe. We have a strong community spirit in Boscombe with residents and traders who work tirelessly in partnership with the Council and the police to try and make improvements to make the area a better place for residents. We are determined to continue with the good work and we will continue to do all we can to improve the area for people who live, work or visit here.”

Chief Inspector Weeks continued: “Our hard work will continue and I would encourage anyone with concerns to contact their Safer Neighbourhood Team, and anyone who has information about drug offences taking place in their local area to contact Dorset Police immediately on 101, so that we can take action.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.