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Major drugs bust in Taunton

By buseman, Jun 10, 2010 | |
  1. buseman
    The warrants were aimed at tackling priority crime and the supply of controlled drugs, which local residents have identified as a Partners and Community Together (PACT) priority for the area.

    Local officers have worked with the residents of Halcon to increase community confidence and trust within the area.

    This has resulted in a dramatic increase in members of the public coming forward to supply police with information about criminal activity - particular the use and supply of controlled drugs.

    11 arrests were made in total with another three to potentially follow. The offenders were taken to the Custody Units at Bridgwater, Taunton and Minehead Police Stations to be interviewed.

    Drugs paraphernalia and quantities of suspected Class A and B drugs were found including Crack, Mephedrone and Amphetamines. Cannabis was also seized including several plants that were being cultivated in a homemade hydroponics set-up.

    Cash and stolen goods were also found at several of the addresses. Car stereos, a stolen passport and mobiles phones were among the items seized.

    Of the 11 arrests, seven were male and four were female with offences ranging from Possession and Intent to Supply Class A and B drugs, to Theft and Handling Stolen Property.

    Several of the offenders had cash and property seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, including a 37 year old man, arrested for Possession of Class B drugs and Handling Stolen Property, who was found with £2000 in cash.

    Chief Superintendent Daimon Tilley said: This operation was designed to target offenders and suspected offenders, disrupt drug dealing activities within the area and send a clear message to those who are involved in this kind of activity - drug dealing will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly, we will find you, we will be relentless.

    We aim to address the concerns of local people who, in this case have identified drug related crime as a PACT priority in this area, reducing their fear of crime and strengthening the relationship between the local community, the police and our key partners.

    I would like to reassure the communities of Somerset West that this is a safe place to live and work, we have comparatively low crime levels and drug related crime is undertaken by a minority.

    We want to thank the local community for working with us, talking to us and providing us with information about activities in their area and encourage them to keep communicating with us.

    Daniel Rogers, of Valley Road Taunton, said: I am really pleased to see the police here today. We have been complaining about the drug dealing activities at the particular address on this street, we have been really concerned.

    It is good that the police are here, they have listened to what we have been saying. The things that have been going on spoil the neighbourhood for the other people that live here, including the children. It's not nice. I am glad something is being done to stop it.

    In addition to addressing local concerns and PACT priorities, the warrants are being carried out as part of the summer-long Operation Relentless campaign "Relentless On Keeping You Safe".

    The latest Relentless campaign marks fifth anniversary of Operation Relentless. Officers began series of community activities on Tuesday June 8, 2010, which will continue to run throughout the summer months.

    Operation Relentless has been a huge success, with other forces rolling out similar programmes as far afield as New Zealand. There have been 28 Relentless 'days of action' over the last five years, resulting in over 2,100 arrests across Avon and Somerset.

    Sergeant Andy Murphy, who coordinated today's operation said: I am really pleased with the results of today. Residents across Taunton Deane, especially in the Taunton East policing area, have been fully engaged with us and have made a clear stand.

    Our work with our Safer Stronger Neighbourhood Teams and our key partner agencies including the Council has meant that we have been able to address local issues and concerns and focus on reducing crime ultimately making it a safer and more pleasant place to live for the rest of the law abiding community.

    Avon and Somerset Police have also recently launched another force-wide drugs operation to specifically target cannabis factories in the force area.

    Operation Viscount has been created to respond to an increase in the number of large cannabis factories that have been uncovered by police across the UK.

    34 premises have been searched since April across the force area, with 3100 plants seized, worth over £2.9 million.

    Wednesday, June 09, 2010


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