Crackdown on drugs in North Somerset as police recruits 100 officers to patrol streets
PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 May 2019
New police officers in North Somerset have 'made a flying start' after a crackdown on drugs, knives and burglaries was launched.
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 100 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.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: "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."
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: "It's fantastic to see the results that have already been achieved.
"From speaking to people, I know they wanted police to focus on knives, drugs 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."