Drugs operation reaches Gloucestershire night-time economy
By Police reporter | 24th November 2022
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, November 23, through to Sunday, November 27, 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."
Chris Nelson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, 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."
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