The third phase of a regional drugs operation is taking place in the county this week, with officers looking to clamp down on illegal activity in the evening and night-time economy.
Officers from all areas in the county will be carrying out a range of enforcement, prevention and educational work with other local agencies from today, Wednesday 23 November, through to Sunday, 27 November, as part of Operation Scorpion.
Actions will include:
Enforcement action targeting drugs criminality
Drug testing at several local pub/clubs as people enter
Uniformed and covert patrols in the night-time economy targeting drug dealers and potential spikers
Targeted patrols in areas where communities have expressed concerns
Visits to local youth groups and schools to educate young people on dangers of drugs
Visits to local communities to speak to communities about any concerns they have about drugs.
Communications and education throughout the operation will highlight the risks of becoming involved in drugs criminality, such as potentially damaging your health or losing your job, your reputation or ultimately your freedom.
Operation Scorpion is a collaboration between the five police forces in the South West region (Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire), and their respective offices of Police and Crime Commissioners, the British Transport Police, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and the charity Crimestoppers, to tackle drug supply and use in the region and make the South West a hostile environment for drugs.
Detective Superintendent John Turner said: "We make drugs arrests every day of the year but these operations are intended to intensify our activity and send out a very powerful message to those who supply drugs and profit from the illicit drugs trade.
"This phase is specifically aimed at those supplying into our night-time economies but also seeks to address those using drugs recreationally as that can be a very significant part of the issue. We'll be looking to stop those people taking drugs into pubs and clubs, warn them of the possible consequences but also educate them on where they can get help and support."
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson, said: “This week of action demonstrates our commitment to making the South West a safer place, launching a co-ordinated operation against drug-related crime.
“For the first time, I’m pleased to see Operation Scorpion targeting those who supply drugs as well as people who use illegal gateway drugs. Drug abuse can ruin lives and it’s important that we use this week to educate and inform those who see it as a harmless recreation.
“I’m looking forward to attending enforcement activity and operations in town centres to see our vision for Operation Scorpion in action.”
Our partner, Change, Grow, Live, is a drugs and alcohol recovery service. They provide support to people trying to reduce, control or stop their substance use. Their support is non-judgemental and they are there to help you, whatever your situation. They can be called on 01452 223 014 or emailed at gloucestershire.in[email protected]