More than 350 people have been arrested in the last year in Norfolk Constabulary’s campaign targeting drug dealing in the county.
Norfolk Police launched Operation Gravity in December 2016 in response to an increase in violent crime associated with drug dealing and use.
We have been able to respond to reports of drug related crime and this has resulted in a huge number of arrestsAssistant chief constable Paul Sanford
The campaign has focussed on enforcement and targeted criminals transporting drugs into Norfolk, known as County Lines, and partnership working to help identify those vulnerable to this type of crime.
Seventy-seven of the 350 arrested have been convicted in court resulting in a combined total of more than 70years in prison.
Tens of thousands of pounds worth of heroin, crack cocaine and cash has been seized, along with 40 knives.
Assistant chief constable Paul Sanford said: “By working with our neighbouring forces, the Metropolitan Police and local communities, we have been able to respond to reports of drug related crime and this has resulted in a huge number of arrests.
“However, we cannot be complacent and Operation Gravity will continue. We want to make Norfolk a hostile environment for those who think they can come into our county and deal drugs, and anyone caught breaking the law will be dealt with robustly.”
A key part of tackling the issue of drug related crime in the county is focussing on those vulnerable members of our community.
“We recognise that in order to break the cycle of drug crime we need to ensure those who use drugs or are at risk of being exploited by these criminals have access to the support services they need,” added ACCSanford. “We will continue to work with our partner agencies so that we can effectively identify those vulnerable members of our community and put appropriate preventative measures in place.”
Officers from Norfolk Constabulary’s Safer Schools Partnership have also played a role in preventing young people becoming involved county lines drug dealing. A play has toured 64 high schools across the county educating young people about the risks and consequences of drug crime. Anyone with information about illegal drugs activity should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Anyone needing help and support can also contact Norfolk Recovery Partnership (NRP) on 0300 7900 227. NRP provide confidential advice and treatment for adults with drug and alcohol problems.