THE Police Service of Northern Ireland has today (Tuesday) publicly launched a new initiative to tackle street-level drug dealing in Ballymoney and Moyle.
Operation Torus is aimed to disrupt and arrest drug dealers who are involved in the sale and supply of drugs and to encourage people to report information to the Police.
The Operation combines a media campaign which incorporates billboards, Facebook and washroom advertising and will run until October.
Since operational activity began on 20 August, police in H District, which incorporates Ballymoney, Coleraine, Larne, Ballymena and Moyle have conducted 103 stop and searches, 58 drugs searches and seized just over £4,500 worth of drugs, and have made 66 arrests (these figures are as of 14 September).
The types of drugs seized during the operation have included cannabis, herbal cannabis, mephadrone and prescription drugs.
Chief Superintendent Chris Noble said, “I know that the issue of drugs is of concern to the local community and I want to reassure you that Police take this issue very seriously. We want to build upon the hard work of Operation Torus and we will continue to work with community groups, political representatives, churches and schools to educate young people and to raise awareness around the dangers associated with drug taking and the impact drugs can have not only on your health, but on your whole life.
“Young people who take illegal drugs or who misuse prescription medication may place themselves in dangerous situations or activities that they would not normally dream of doing. This type of behaviour has the potential to seriously affect the quality of life for many residents in your community. It may not only affect your health, but also your job opportunities or getting into University if you have a criminal record.
“Information is also key to how we tackle drugs and I would encourage local people to contact your local police and let us know what you know about dealing in your area. The more cooperation we can get from our community, the better equipped we are to disrupt the activities of drug dealing criminals who are involved in the sale and supply of drugs and bring these individuals before the courts.
“With community support, we can continue to put pressure on the dealers by carrying out further targeted searches and making significant arrests.
Detective Inspector Sean Fitzpatrick from CID, H District North commented, “The police in Ballymoney and Moyle will continue to work tirelessly to remove these potentially dangerous drugs from our streets. We remain committed to tackling the scourge of illegal drugs and are working to disrupt those involved in the sale and supply of drugs to limit the amount of misery they are able to inflict on communities and ultimately put these criminals behind bars.
“My team and I have seen first hand, the misery caused to the families of those who take drugs.”
“If you have any information please pick up the phone and contact Police.
“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 on 0845 600 8000 or alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111 and pass on any details that you may have. Remember they are living on the proceeds of these drugs while ruining the lives of others.”