The recent Operation Nimrod drugs raids across Lancashire have been hailed a success by officers, councillors and the communities in which they took place.
In the past four weeks, over 100 officers from across Lancashire Constabulary have been involved in eight ‘strike’ days, carrying out drugs raids in Lancaster, Morecambe, Heysham, Bolton-le-Sands and Burnley. The raids resulted in 46 people being arrested and charged with a total of 164 drugs offences related to the supply of heroin and cocaine in north Lancashire.
Officers swooped on the houses after months of undercover police work identified targets involved in the local drug dealing chain and all those charged are now being put through the court process.
“The purpose of Nimrod is to remove those that supply the hardest drugs - such as heroin and cocaine - off our streets," commented Superintendent Richard Spedding, whilst working with other agencies to help those whose daily lives rely on such drugs to kick their habit.
“Residents have been ecstatic at all the activity surrounding Nimrod and confidence in their local police has grown. We are seen to be protecting their communities and their children.
“Drug dealing, in essence, is high level anti-social behaviour and blights communities," he added. "Our activity also tackles crimes such as burglary and vehicle crime, which are committed to fund drug habits.”
Although the Nimrod raids have now finished, police will continue to combat drugs and drugs dealing.
“We will not win the battle against drugs until the market demand has decreased," Supt Spedding said. "In other words, whilst there are always those who are willing to take drugs, or are dependent on them, there will always be those who will supply them.
“We will continue to monitor the situation through our neighbourhood police teams and intelligence we gain from within those communities we have tackled. This will help us to identify any new dealers and then take action to remove them from our streets.”
Lancaster City Councillor David Kerr, who attended several of the raids in Morecambe, said: “The residents I have spoken to have been very impressed to see the police out in such numbers and doing what they want the police to be doing - targeting those individuals who are making their lives a misery.
“I think we need to realise that these operations are required to support our communities, and that without this support our communities would break down.
“Having been on these raids I have seen that it is not just a case of officers kicking a door down and arresting someone – it is about months of meticulous planning resulting in an improvement that benefits all those who live here.”
A spokesperson for Addaction, the organisation that works with officers to provide support and treatment for those arrested for drug offences, said: “Nimrod has brought a large number of people into treatment for their drug abuse – some of whom will be receiving treatment for the first time, while others may have relapsed.
“Getting people involved with treatment is important as in the long term it can get them off drugs and we are pleased at the co-ordination between the offender management team and the police during Nimrod.”
• Anyone with information about drugs dealing in their community are asked to contact Lancaster Police on 01524 63333 or confidentially to Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.