South Gloucestershire police have carried out a series of drug raids as the culmination of a four-month operation.
Officers arrested seven people and searched eight premises seizing suspected class A drugs believed to be heroin and cocaine as well as thousands of pounds in cash in the operation in Kingswood on Tuesday 14th June 2011.
South Gloucestershire’s district commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Francis, said: “This proactive police operation is part of our ongoing efforts to disrupt drug supply and associated crime in the Kingswood area.
“Crime is Kingswood is low compared with national averages, but local people have told us they are concerned that drug use in the area is contributing to crime and disorder. There is an obvious connection between drug use and property crime such as burglary, vehicle crime and theft.
“We will continue to relentlessly target those people whose actions cause harm to the Kingswood community: drug dealers and those who commit crime to fund drug use. We will also continue to work with South Gloucestershire Council and other agencies to offer access to free support and treatment to drug users and their families.”
Police raided homes in areas including Kennington Avenue, Downend Road, Clarence Road, Wychwood, Southey Court, and an industrial unit in Moravian Road.
Five men aged 21, 28, 32, 34 and 39 and a 26-year-old woman have been arrested for being supplying controlled drugs. A 59-year-old man has been arrested for being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. All remain in police custody.
Neighbourhood police will have a high visibility presence in Kingswood over the next few days to give information to the community about this police action.
Police will continue to listen to local people and act on information – although it may take time to gather evidence.
You can help give Kingswood a better future by giving us the information we need to identify and tackle problems and bring criminals to justice. Call police on 0845 456 7000 or the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Crime across South Gloucestershire has fallen by 10 per cent, meaning 1,700 fewer victims. However police have listened to the concerns of local people about crime and disorder in Kingswood.
Since February, the neighbourhood team has had extra staff, providing a highly visible daily presence on the streets of Kingswood to help people feel safer.
Later this year the team will move from Staple Hill police station to Kingswood Civic Centre, where there is already a new police enquiry office.
The change follows research by the South Gloucestershire Safer and Stronger Partnership, which includes police, South Gloucestershire Council, the Fire and Rescue service, health service and other agencies. The group studied crime and disorder across the district and decided a change was needed to improve things for people in Kingswood.
South Gloucestershire Council’s head of Safer and Stronger Communities, Robert Walsh, said: “Kingswood is a safe place to work and live but this clear and decisive action by several organisations dedicated to community safety will hopefully make it even better. We have listened to public concerns about crime and disorder and hopefully today’s action will go some way to address these problems.
“This is also about helping those who have been caught up in the cycle of drugs and associated crime. South Gloucestershire Council is continuing to provide treatment for those who have a problem with drug use. If you are worried about someone you think could be using drugs, or want support to help you fight your own drugs use, please contact 0800 0733 011.”
Source: Avon and Somerset Police