Police crackdown on drugs off to ‘flying start’

Chief Constable Andy Marsh and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens. - Credit: Archant

A police crackdown on crime in North Somerset has ‘made a flying start’ after the force was bolstered by 100 new officers.

Operation Remedy, led by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, has led to dozens of arrests and put a dent in the district's drug market after a rise in council tax in April paid for officers to be recruited.

The average band D household has seen bills increase by £2 a month, allowing the force to strengthen its ranks beyond established levels for the first time since 2004.

In their first month, the new officers executed 16 warrants and arrested 56 people across the force area - 71 per cent of which have been charged for offences ranging from burglary to possession of knives and drugs.

An increase in high visibility patrols in North Somerset has proved particularly successful, unearthing evidence of drug dealing taking place.

Almost 700 cannabis plants worth tens of thousands of pounds have been seized across Avon and Somerset, while close to 1kg of 'extremely pure' cocaine has been taken off the streets.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "In the short time since Operation Remedy, it's fantastic to see the results that have already been achieved.

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"From speaking to local people, I know they wanted the police to focus on knife crime, drug dealing and burglaries.

"We will continue to show local people the difference in the police's fight against crime and our officers are working hard to intensify their fight against serious violence on our streets, in our town and in our cities.

"There's still lots of work to be done but we are already sending a loud and clear message to criminals coming into Avon and Somerset to commit their crimes is not an option."

Chief Constable Andy Marsh added: "It's the first time in seven years where extra resources have been available to tackle the issues mattering most to the community.

"The officers have recovered many knives and have been visible in some of our most difficult hotspot areas.

"They have also been following up on burglaries and have solved an additional 30 already, putting the fear away from the victims of burglary to the people who know we are going to be squeezing their shoulder if they carry on.

"Operation Remedy has made a flying start."