‘Drugs remain an important priority’

ALMOST a quarter of a million pounds worth of drugs was seized in the district which covers Magherafelt, according to the PSNI.

Over the last eight weeks, police have seized suspected drugs estimated to be worth over £1 million as part of operation Torus, a street-level drug dealing initiative.

In G District which covers Derry, Strabane, Limavady and Magherafelt there were 246 searches, 135 arrests and £445,400 worth of drugs seized.

The suspected drugs found during the searches have included cannabis, herbal cannabis, cocaine, mephedrone and prescription drugs.

During the operation, which ran from Monday, August 20 until Friday, October 12, a total of 2,427 searches and 411 arrests were made across Northern Ireland.

The seizures and searches have involved officers from neighbourhood, crime and the specialist dog handling units.

Operation Torus was supported by a media campaign incorporating billboards, Facebook and washroom advertising, which was designed to encourage people to report drug dealing to police, who will then use this information to take appropriate action against drug dealers.

G District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Garry Eaton said although Operation Torus has come to an end, drugs remain a policing priority and he added that their drugs operations will continue.

“We are determined to disrupt and arrest those involved in the sale and supply of drugs, bring individuals before the courts and work with communities and partner agencies to reduce the threat of harmful and illegal activity,” he added.

“We know that street-level drug dealing is happening in our district and we need the help and support of local communities to remove this activity from our streets. If you know that illegal drugs are being sold or distributed in your area, please pick up the phone and contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team. Information is vital and we need assistance from the public. The information we receive can lead to seizures, arrest and convictions which means less drugs on our streets,” he said.

To speak to the police about drugs please ring 0845 600 8000 or alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and pass on any details that you may have.