Police want you to inform on drug dealers after 1,000 crimes in a year
POLICE are urging people to unmask the drug dealers that blight their communities.
New figures reveal how more than 1,000 drug-related crimes have taken place in Plymouth so far this year.
Now cops are bidding to break the cycle by encouraging more people to snitch on the drug-pushing criminals.
Figures obtained by The Herald under the Freedom of Information Act reveal police recorded a total of 1,017 crimes relating to banned substances between January and October.
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More than 80 per cent were offences of possession, and there were dozens of offences of producing, supplying or possession with intent to supply.
Reacting to the new figures, Detective Constable Stuart Payne, Plymouth's drugs liaison officer, said the force would take "all necessary action" to crack down on drug crime.
"Obviously the police prioritise where they are needed most and will target areas of high crime in order to assist communities to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the community they live in." he said.
"It is for this reason that we need the public to tell us what is happening where they live so we can help them as much as possible.
"It is important for people to tell us who is dealing drugs and where they are dealing drugs within their community so that we can put our procedures into place in order to bring the drug dealers before the courts."
The figures reveal that the hot spots for drug crime this year were the city centre – where 159 offences were recorded – and Stonehouse, where there were 225 drug-related crimes.
The majority of offences – 658 out of 1,017 – related to cannabis, with cocaine (83), heroin (62), methadone (24) and MDMA (13) also mentioned.
Of the 748 recorded offenders, 272 were aged 19 to 25 and 260 were 26 to 39, with 32 under-16s and four over-60s.
And, at 102, there were more drug-related crimes recorded in October than in any other month in the year.
The total overall crimes recorded in the city between January and November stands at 22,541.
DC Payne added: "The police are never satisfied with the number of drug-related offences committed in our communities and will always strive to reduce the numbers of people using illegal drugs.
"Education and informing our communities of the dangers of using illegal drugs must be a priority and also positive treatment at the earliest opportunity for those addicted to drugs.
"The police will take all action necessary to reduce drug-related crime and to bring those responsible to the notice of the courts.
"It is expected that the most serious offences of supplying drugs are dealt with in a positive and rigorous way by the courts."
On Wednesday The Herald received a letter from a concerned resident in Manadon, claiming that police are failing to tackle "blatant drug activity" in the area.
The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote: "After almost two years of continually reporting drug dealing in our street, known drug dealers are still in our quite residential street.
"I have the utmost respect for our police force but an someone please remind me why we are paying our taxes while there is blatant drug activity being allowed to continue and ignored by the authorities?"
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