7 May 2015

The latest campaign run between the charity, Police and Police and Community Safety Partnerships has resulted in the seizure of £1.46 million worth of illegal drugs across Northern Ireland.

The ‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care, Do You?’ media campaign was launched in Belfast on 9 February but also ran in other PCSP areas. It included television and radio advertising as well as online and outdoor media material.

The results for the campaign period 9 February – 9 April are:

  • £1.46 million drugs seized
  • £44,000 cash seized
  • 1,823 searches
  • 704 seizures
  • 357 arrests

Crimestoppers Volunteer Board chairman, Peter Stafford, said: “As a charity we are really encouraged by the results that have been produced by the ‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care’ campaign and have to thank the public for their willingness to help clear our streets of drugs.

“Information has increased by 23 per cent on last year’s campaign, which is an indication that people do care about fighting crime in their community. We understand that picking up the phone to give information can be an incredibly difficult thing to do, and this is why we’d encourage you to use our anonymous service to report a drug dealer in your area, safe in the knowledge they will never know you spoke to us.”

Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Operations, Will Kerr, said: “Along with our partners, we’ve invested a considerable amount of time and effort into this campaign and it has delivered worthwhile outcomes. The principal drug seized was herbal cannabis worth £1.17 million. We also seized £44,000 in cash which we believe is linked to drugs.

“We arrested 357 suspects, charged 78 of them, reported 163 and released 55 on police bail. Although this operation has concluded, drugs will remain a policing priority. We will continue to disrupt and arrest those 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 would continue to ask communities to provide us with information about illegal drugs. If you tell us, we will act on it.”

A spokesperson for Belfast PCSP said: “We are delighted to hear how successful the PSNI enforcement has been, and welcome these significant results. It’s encouraging that the ‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care’ campaign would appear to be having some impact in helping to tackle the scourge of drugs on our streets and in our communities.

“These latest figures demonstrate that by working in partnership and coordinating our resources we can be more effective; and we will continue to work together to make a real difference to reduce the effects of drugs on people and communities.”

Justice Minister David Ford said:  “Those who deal in drugs are a scourge on our society.  I commend the PSNI for their continuing work to remove drugs from our streets and bring perpetrators to justice.

“In this campaign the PSNI have been supported by local Policing and Community Safety Partnerships and Crimestoppers.  I welcome the significant outcomes achieved through this collaborative approach.   However, there is no room for complacency, as the impact of illicit drug use on individuals, families and communities can be devastating.

“Whilst the criminal justice system will continue to take action against those who supply or deal in drugs and bring them before the courts, the justice agencies need support and information from all parts of the community.   I would therefore encourage members of the public to call the police on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with the confidence that one call could save many lives.  Your call can and will make a difference.”