Thirty-four arrests made and drugs seized as part of crackdown on crime
in Cumbria

Officers across the county have carried our extensive policing activity
in recent weeks as part of a targeted crackdown on crime in Cumbria.

In late April, police arrested eighteen people following dawn raids
targeting high-harm drug supply in communities across the county.

The proactive action saw trained specialist officers use a range of
tactics including the use of a chainsaw to make effective entry to some
of the properties as detectives, dogs unit officers and uniformed
departments worked together on deployments to target the county’s drugs
black market.

Illicit pharmaceuticals were also recovered – along with knives,
knuckle dusters, phones and over £5,000 in suspected illegally-made
cash.

This work was followed up by a further sixteen arrests this week as
part of an operation, codenamed Merlin, in which officers carried out
warrants into drug supply and online child abuse offences. The operation
also resulted in enquiries carried out to round-up identified suspects
wanted for a range of offences including domestic abuse, drug supply,
rape and stalking offences.

As well as the arrests, seizures and warrants, police followed up by
directly reaching out to almost 700 residents in neighbourhoods by going
door-to-door and handing out leaflets appealing for information and
help.

Detective Chief Inspector David Cooper, head of Cumbria Constabulary’s
Serious and Organised Crime Unit, was one of the leading officers for
this operation.

He said: “We work all-year-round to tackle criminality across all areas
of crime impacting on our communities. This intensified disruption
campaign was conducted by our Specialist Capabilities and Neighbourhood
Policing teams and underlines our commitment to supporting our
law-abiding communities in tackling head-on those who commit crimes
across Cumbria.

“Our focus was on high-harm drugs supply, online child abuse and
’rounding up’ wanted persons in our communities who thought they were
above the law and the consequences.

“Disrupting community drug supply, investigating online child abuse and
more generally, holding criminals to account are amongst shared
community and policing priorities towards a safer county.”

In recent years, the county’s police force has been successful in
dismantling organised crime groups and arresting drugs criminals -due to
the harm that can be caused to individuals and communities by the trade
in these substances.

DCI Cooper added: “This coordinated action should send a clear message
to those dealing in this trade: We will not stand for this and they will
be stopped.

“High-harm drugs such as heroin and cocaine can have a devastating
impact on peoples’ lives. There is also the knock-on effect on
communities, such as the anti-social behaviour linked to homes being
used to deal and the thefts that accompany people stealing to feed their
addictions.

“We will do all we can to stop drugs criminals targeting our
communities as they aim to line their pockets at the expense of other
people’s misery.”

Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “This is a
fantastic snapshot of what the Constabulary achieve year-round.  This is
a constant battle and as the detail above demonstrates, the harm of
drug-use and dealing involves a range of crime, use of weapons and
violence, that is why it is totally unacceptable.

“Dealers should expect the police to continue to pursue them robustly
and bring them to justice.  Cumbria Police have a strong record of
effectively bringing drug dealers to justice and will continue to deal
robustly with anyone dealing drugs in our county.

“Officers are constantly working on the streets and behind closed doors
to gather intelligence to take down drug supply chains and stop the flow
of dangerous drugs entering our county and affecting our communities.

“Any addiction can destroy the lives of those who take drugs and have a
negative effect on their wider circle of family and friends.  There are
agencies who can help those with addiction to drugs and this is a
crucial aspect in reducing demand and I would urge anyone who needs this
support to contact Recovery Steps Cumbria.

“I know that members of the public do sometimes get the impression that
when they report drug dealing or activity they don’t necessarily see an
instant response, I want to reassure that all information is logged and
is used to build up intelligence.

“This allows the police to target effective response and I would urge
anyone with information on drug traffickers or dealers to call or email
the Police on 101 or report it to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555
111.

“Together we can make Cumbria an even safer place to live.”

_Worried about drug use? How to get help_

If you are worried about your own, or someone else’s drug use, help is
available.

Recovery Steps Cumbria provides free and confidential support at
locations across the county.

Call 01900 512300 or email referrals@recoverystepscumbria.org.uk to
arrange to speak to someone, or visit
https://humankindcharity.org.uk/service/recovery-steps-cumbria/ [1] for
more information.

_Do you have information about drugs crime?_

Anyone with information can report online at
www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it [2]

You can also phone on 101.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555
111.


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