Cleveland Police team smashes drugs rings worth £2m in first year

CRIME: Crime scene.
CRIME: Crime scene.

A POLICE team has smashed drug networks worth £2m in its first year of existence.

Cleveland Police’s Community Drug Enforcement Team (CDET) has arrested 140 people, served 138 warrants and blitzed 5,770 cannabis plants in the past 12 months.

And officers say there is more good work to come.

The CDET was formed last November as a result of a major reorganisation of the force and since then the specialist team has worked tirelessly to rid the streets of drugs and to reduce the associated crime and anti-social behaviour often linked to drug-dealing.

Just under 200 offences have been brought to justice.

And Detective Inspector Christian Ellis, of CDET, warned that there are more than 100 people currently under investigation or on bail for drugs offences.

Paying tribute to his team, and the local community, he said: “I am really impressed by the dedication shown by officers within the CDET over the last 12 months to achieve these results.

“We have not done this alone. We have worked with local neighbourhood officers, support staff and partners, as well as other national law enforcement agencies organisations like the Border Agency, National Crime Agency, HM Customs and Excise and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

“Our achievements would not have been possible without the support shown by the local community and we owe them a big thank you.

“By taking the time to report concerns, they often provide us with the initial information that then leads to officers being able to take action.

“This then removes both dangerous drugs from the streets - and the individuals who prey on the vulnerable who buy them.”

Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang, head of neighbourhood and partnership policing command hailed the CDET as an “invaluable asset”

Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said drugs crime was a priority and hailed the team.

To report drug activity call 0800 0929702, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.