POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are launching a major new initiative targeting street-level drug dealers this morning.
Operation Torus combines an advertising campaign and police action against dealers on the ground.
The media side of the operation includes billboards, Facebook and washroom advertising. It will run until October.
Since the clampdown began on 20 August, PSNI officers have conducted 1,142 searches and seized almost £290,000 worth of drugs. In the short period, 198 people have been arrested under suspicion of drugs-related offences.
“We know that street-level drug dealing is happening across all districts throughout Northern Ireland and we need the help and support of local communities to remove this activity from our streets,” explained Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Operations Drew Harris.
The types of drugs seized in recent weeks as part of the operation include cannabis, herbal cannabis, cocaine, mephadrone and prescription drugs.
“Drugs bring misery to individuals, families and communities,” added Harris, before warning parents that young people who take illegal substances can get into situations they would not normally dream of. It can also lead to a criminal record which can damage employment and travel prospects, he continued.
“Our message today is clear and simple: if you see or know of anyone who is dealing drugs in your local area, then contact your local police.”