Police have taken more than £11m of drugs off the streets of Cumbria in the last year under a forcewide crackdown on serious and organised crime.
As well as seizing high-harm substances including heroin, cocaine and amphetamine – and shutting down numerous industrial-sized cannabis farms – officers put together cases that jailed a series of organised crime groups cashing in at the expense of communities.
Detectives and staff also continued to hit these criminals where it really hurts – in their pockets, by seizing suspected illegal money worth more than £4m.
All of this has fallen under Operation Alliance – Cumbria Police’s dedicated overall operation protecting the county against serious and organised crime.
In the last year, officers have:
- Seized drugs worth more than £11.2m
- Confiscated £4.3m in cash
- Continued to target criminal finance – with £4.5m subject to criminal investigation
Detective Superintendent Ian Hussey said: “The last year has seen organised crime groups jailed, vast amounts of drugs taken out of circulation and the disruption and dismantling of numerous criminal enterprises.
“We’re committed to taking on those serious and organised criminals who have no concern whatsoever about the consequences of their actions – and whose activities cause the most harm to our communities.
“These crime groups should be under no illusion: we will do all we can to disrupt them and put them behind bars – where they belong.”
Operation Alliance runs throughout the year and encompasses all the individual operations where officers targeted organised crime groups or aim to prevent or disrupt serious and organised crime.
This time last year the force updated on all the work underway – and the latest statistics illustrate the work carried out in the previous 12 months.
Det Supt Hussey said: “Our officers work all-year-round to protect Cumbria against serious and organised crime.
“Throughout the last year operations, drug warrants and stop-searches have been carried out by specialist units and officers across the force.
“This has seen organised crime groups jailed, drugs taken out of circulation, online offenders sentenced and the disruption or dismantling of criminal enterprises across the county.
“Alongside the arrests and prosecutions, we also took action to safeguard many people who we suspected were at risk.”
Det Supt Hussey added: “This work is not carried out alone – Operation Alliance sees us work with various other law enforcement and partner agencies to protect people and bring criminals to justice.
“But, as always, the most important people in this is you: the public.
“To keep up the fight against this type of organised crime we need the public to let us know when they see anything suspicious in their communities.”
Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “This summary gives reassurance to the public that Cumbria Police are tackling serious crime robustly every day, and having a real effect in bringing criminals who mostly target the vulnerable to justice.
“I know that people are generally pleased to see officers on their streets, and that has real value, which is why the constabulary have given more resource to neighbourhood policing, including Community Beat Officers deployed right across the county – but much more crime goes unseen and police tactics need to reflect this, so much of their work to tackle serious criminals and their crimes is never seen but goes on every day.
“This update on police activity shows real success in bringing criminals to justice and I hope gives the assurance to the public that our police in Cumbria are actively keeping us safe. but I would also add as a warning to anyone who considers committing crime in the county that they will be pursued robustly and when caught they will face the consequences.
“The police work with multiple partners across the county but the most important partner they have in preventing and catching criminals is the public, we all have a part to play. I would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it to the police on 101 or 999 in emergencies.
“Together we can make Cumbria a safer place to live, work and visit.”
Do you have information that can help us?
Anyone with information can report online at www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it
You can also phone on 101.
Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.