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Significant arrests for drugs crimes in Weymouth

Dorset Police has announced positive results following a targeted operation to tackle drug issues in the Weymouth area in response to community concerns.

An increased police presence and robust patrols have taken place in the Melcombe Regis, Nothe and Chapelhay areas of Weymouth in order to tackle criminal activity and provide reassurance to residents.

The operation has so far produced excellent results with over 97 arrests since June 2013.

A large amount of drug seizures have also been made - over 64 including substantial amounts of heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis and over £6,000 seized from drug dealers. Officers have also recovered over £1000 in stolen items.

Cannabis street cautions have been issued, along with formal anti-social behaviour dispersal notices given to those causing anti-social behaviour in a particular area.

Temporary Weymouth & Portland Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Wood said: “As part of an ongoing operation targeting drug related crime in the area, a team of dedicated patrol and Safer Neighbourhood Team officers have been carrying out intelligence led, high visibility patrols.

“We have been successful in obtaining anti-social behaviour orders, drug house closures and dealing with street drinkers in order to reduce crime and increase public confidence.”

Community Safety brief holder for Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, Cllr Geoff Petherick said: “The borough council takes anti-social behaviour and the problems caused by substance abuse very seriously.

“We currently co-ordinate a local multi-agency forum to help resolve issues such as anti-social behaviour in the area and are working closely with Dorset Police and other partners, such as drug and alcohol support agencies, to help tackle drug issues within the borough.

“I congratulate the police on the success of this.”

Police will continue to work closely with a broad range of stakeholders and partners as the operation moves forward.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, the Community Safety Partnership, drug and alcohol teams, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, Probation, Youth Offending teams and local volunteer groups are all working together to clean up the area and make residents feel safer.

Local resident Martin James said: “The area has been plagued with anti-social behaviour. I’ve witnessed prostitution, drug dealing and street drinking on a daily basis.

“Since the summer we’ve seen a real increase in police, with officers patrolling on bikes and out walking the beat. We have noticed a significant improvement in the area.”

Temporary Inspector Neil Wood continued: “We take the concerns of the public very seriously and we will continue to work closely with members of the Weymouth community to keep the town safe and proactively deal with information relating to drugs offences and other criminal or anti-social behaviour.

“I would urge members of the public who may have concerns, suspicions or any information about the misuse of drugs to contact Dorset Police on 101, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.”

Issued: 5 January 2014