‘Communities hold key to beating dealers’

Inspector Jon Burrows gives an update on Operation Torus.
Inspector Jon Burrows gives an update on Operation Torus.

Communities hold the key to helping take drugs off our streets, that’s the message from local police from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon who have carried a proactive day-long operation targeting street-level drug dealing across the district.

The operation, which focused across the Portadown, Armagh and Lurgan areas, was carried out on Tuesday (October 4th), with a total of 13 searches, resulting in five seizures and three arrests.

Reiterating the PSNI’s ongoing commitment to tackling drugs, Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said, “Our aim is to get drugs off our streets, and to give people the confidence to report drug dealing in their community.

“The police and other agencies are doing their utmost to tackle the scourge of drugs, but information and local knowledge are key.

“We know that street-level drug dealing is happening across all Districts throughout Northern Ireland, but we need the help and support of local communities to remove this activity from our streets.

“If you know or suspect that illegal drugs are being sold or distributed in your area, please pick up the phone and contact us.

“We will continue to disrupt and arrest drug dealers 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.

“We are asking everyone for their support and co-operation in tackling this problem through the criminal justice system.

“This is about empowering and working with local communities to make their neighbourhoods safer, reducing the threat posed by street-level drugs and dealing with offenders robustly through the criminal justice system.

“If you see or know of anyone who is dealing drugs in your local area, then contact your local police on the 101 number or alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and pass on any details that you may have.”

On their social media page Craiogavon PSNI said on Tuesday night said it had ‘been a productive Op Torus day, with one very notable find’.

The went on to reveal, “We have also had an officer injured today (Tuesday) when they got a finger prick on a discarded needle during a search. This is the serious side of it for us, and where the risks for us are increased dramatically.

“It will be a horrendous time waiting for the all clear, but it didn’t stop that officer getting back out on the ground to finish the day’s searches. Sometimes we find these needles in house searches. Sometimes we find them in playgrounds. This is the reality of drugs, why today was so important, and why you talking to us is vital.”