The Police Service of Northern Ireland is mounting the latest stage of its campaign to tackle street level drug dealing and has seized more than £2.7 million worth of drugs in the first three weeks.
Operation Torus started on 5 September and will run until 16 October. Since it began police have conducted 297 searches across Northern Ireland resulting in 75 arrests and have also charged or reported 19 people to the Public Prosecution Service.
Announcing the preliminary figures, Detective Chief Superintendent Andrea McMullan, head of Reactive and Organised Crime Branch, said: “In the first three weeks of Operation Torus we have had significant success in the number of searches, seizures and arrests linked to street level drug dealers across Northern Ireland. Drugs remain a policing priority due to the detrimental effects they can cause to individuals and communities.
“Latest overall figures show that from August 2015 to August 2016 there have been 5,308 drugs seizures across Northern Ireland and 2,797 drugs related arrests. Seizures are slightly up (0.2%) while arrests are down (-5.2%) for the same period the previous year.
“The seizure of £2,760,832 worth of drugs over the past three weeks is ongoing proof that our commitment to acting upon information provided by communities has paid off. We could not carry out the job we do without the help of communities. We continue to encourage anyone with information regarding drugs to come forward and help us reduce the threat of dangerous and illegal drugs on the streets.”
Detective Chief Superintendent McMullan continued: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland will continue to arrest and charge those involved in the sale and supply of drugs and bring those individuals before the courts. We will also seize their illegal merchandise and take it out of circulation. Help from communities and partner agencies make this possible. The information they provide helps us to reduce the threat of harmful and illegal drugs activity in Northern Ireland. I would continue to appeal to communities to provide us with information about illegal drugs. We are committed to keeping people safe, and that is what we will do.
“If you know of anyone who is dealing drugs in your local area, then contact local police on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and pass on any information you may have.”