Police drug searches helped by community tip offs

PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 June 2011




DRUGS amounting to £192,062 have been taken off the streets of North Somerset over the past year thanks to community tip-offs.

New figures from West Country Crimestoppers have found that the total haul is the highest amount in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area behind Bristol for the period between April 2010 to the end of March 2011.

It has seen a 25 per cent increase in crime detections during the same period.

With Crimestoppers’ help, on average, more than 17 criminals are arrested each month in comparison with previous years.

Gordon Chisholm, development officer for West Country Crimestoppers said: “A huge thank you must go to the people of the West Country for using the charity to pass on information about crime.

“We’re extremely proud that Crimestoppers continues to play such a vital role in helping to make our local community a safer place to live.

“I’d like to reassure the public that our service is completely anonymous and in the 23 years that the charity’s been running no-one has ever been identified.

“The service is run for you, the public, to help make your community a safer place to live. We’re not part of the police or government, we’re an independent charity, so by contacting us you’ll never have to give a statement to the police or go to court.”

Avon and Somerset police have also benefited from Operation Viscount, an ongoing operation to disrupt and destroy cannabis farms and the associated supply of cannabis throughout Avon and Somerset.

So far they have seized cannabis worth over £2 million.

Detective Chief Inspector Graham Hogg said: “We work with the local community to ensure that we address the issues they want to us to tackle.

“One area of concern for local people is drugs.

“Our officers have a zero tolerance approach to drugs and more than ever are having success in arresting individuals who are causing harm within the communities through drug use and supply.

“This success is very much down to the local community who are working with us by providing information and I would to thank them for their continued support.”

Over the past year, West Country Crimestoppers have led a number of high-profile campaigns to tackle crimes affecting the region including a campaign to combat the damage caused to communities by drug dealing.

Nationally, the charity has achieved a one per cent increase in actionable information and a ten per cent increase in the number of people arrested and charged as a result of information passed to Crimestoppers.

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