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South west police forces form drug-busting alliance

Up to £1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and charge

A joined-up collaboration of crime organisations are combining resources to tackle drug supply in the south west.

Devon and Cornwall Police are teaming up Dorset, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire's police forces alongside the British Transport Police, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and charity CrimeStoppers in the hopes of making the south west a hostile environment for drugs.

Operation Scorpion first began back in March and focussed on county lines drug deals - where illegal substances are transported from one county to another and usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced by gangs. This time, the focus is on the impact of drugs within communities.

Across Devon this week, there will be high visibility patrols as well as educational visits to schools and visits carried out to vulnerable people.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Parker said: “This week we are joining forces with the other forces in the region and PCCs to target drugs and antisocial behaviour and together we are sending the clear message that we will not tolerate drug supply within our communities.

“We absolutely cannot underestimate the harm caused by drugs, both on those directly involved but also on their family, friends and the wider community.

“We are working closely with a number of partner agencies to share information and intelligence so that we can put resources in the right places to not only pursue those who commit crime, but also to safeguard and support the vulnerable.

“Information reported by the public is crucial so if you suspect illegal drug activity in your area, please report it and help us keep the South West clear of drugs.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I and my fellow commissioners from around the South West are determined that we send out a strong message that the region is no place for drugs. That’s what Operation Scorpion is all about.

“We must offer users treatment and support but also robustly enforce so the dealers who prey on the most vulnerable in our communities are brought to justice. From Commissioners our officers need resources and political backing, from the public we serve they need intelligence – that’s why today we’re asking anyone with information about drug dealing to pass that on, anonymously, via CrimeStoppers. The South West is one of the safest places in the country. By working together, we can keep it that way.”

Anonymous information can be passed to the independent charity CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or through their online form.

Any information that leads to an arrest and charge could get you a cash reward of up to £1,000

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