Police seized almost 30pc more drugs this year amid crackdown
PUBLISHED: 08:22 15 November 2018
Norfolk police have seized almost 30pc more drugs this year than in the previous 12 months as the force's Operation Gravity crackdown continues.
Launched in December 2016 in response to a series of serious incidents linked to the drugs trade in Norwich and Great Yarmouth - including the murder of Steve Stannard in Mile Cross - the operation has sought to wage war with drug dealers targeting the county.
New Home Office data has revealed Norfolk Police made 1,933 seizures in 2017/18 compared to 1,526 in 2016/17 - an increase of 27pc.
That figure is a staggering 239pc up on the number of seizures made almost a decade ago when, in 2008/09 there was just 569 although the number is still down on the figure for Suffolk where there were 3,045 made in 2017/18.
Dozens of drug dealers and users have been dealt with by the courts in Norfolk following the force’s Operation Granary crackdown which began in spring 2018 and has seen undercover officers involved in test purchases and surveillance.
The crackdown is part of the wider Gravity initiative aimed at tacking county lines networks.
And Home Office statistics reveal that it is having a real impact in the county, with police taking 3kg of cocaine off the streets in 225 seizures, 2kg of heroin in 202 seizures and 1kg of crack in 105 seizures in 2017/18.
Officers in Norfolk took more cocaine off the streets than most other forces in the region over the past 12 months, including Bedfordshire (104), Cambridge (209) and Suffolk (20) with just Hertfordshire and Essex (both with 420) making more seizures.
But it is not just Class A drugs being taken off Norfolk’s streets with police in the county making 1,416 cannabis seizures over the period.
A police spokesman said: “The rise in drug seizures comes as no surprise, given the pro-active nature of our enforcement work in Operation Gravity tackling county lines drug activity.
“Since the campaign was launched in December 2016 a significant amount of resources has been dedicated towards it which we believe has suppressed some of the more serious violence and associated drug activity.
“More than 800 arrests have been made which will undoubtedly have led to an increase in the number of drug seizures.”