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Considerable success in fight against drug crime 2 June 2008

Drug identification - heroinTHE Isle of Man Constabulary has achieved considerable recent success in its efforts to combat the importation and supply of illegal drugs.

Since the beginning of April officers from the Drug Trafficking Unit have seized heroin with a street value of more than £33,000. And earlier this month a police operation in Douglas recovered what is believed to be the largest single haul of amphetamine in the Island to date.

Minister for Home Affairs Martyn Quayle MHK said:

‘As a close-knit Island community we are only too aware of the harmful impact drugs can have on our society. Like anywhere else in the world we have to remain vigilant to those who choose to threaten our much cherished quality of life through the peddling of illegal substances. These recent seizures represent significant progress in the Island’s fight against drug-related crime. The quantity of heroin seized is particularly pleasing given the devastating social consequences of this drug.’

The IoM Constabulary is continuing to work in partnership with other government and voluntary organisations to raise awareness of controlled substances and highlight the Island’s hard line against drug crime.

The annual crime performance statistics revealed a 10 per cent increase in drugs-related offences which Chief Constable Mike Langdon said was a reflection of ‘increased activity and better results.’ Particular emphasis is placed on efforts to target and disrupt the supply of drugs into the Isle of Man from the UK.

The importation of any controlled substance - whether heroin or cannabis – is treated seriously and that message has been underlined as thousands of visitors arrive for TT 2008. Work across several different agencies, in particular the Chief Minister’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy, will continue in a bid to protect the Island’s reputation as a safe place to live and work.

The gathering of intelligence played a crucial part in the operations carried out in April and May that recovered a substantial quantity of heroin and amphetamine with a street value of more than £6,000.

Drug identification - amphetaminesHead of the Drug Trafficking Unit, Detective Inspector Kevin Willson, added:

‘We are aware that these seizures disrupted the supply of heroin on the Island at the time. ‘The challenge now is not to be complacent but to continue the focus and continue to disrupt the supply of Class A drugs. The amphetamine seizure was the largest to date in the Isle of Man and goes to show that although the focus of this Unit is on Class A drugs we will take action on intelligence relating to other drugs with just as much vigour and determination.’

Margaret O’Reilly, director of drug and alcohol policy and research, added:

‘These seizures are indicative of the many co-operative and concerted measures in place as a result of the Chief Minister’s Drug Strategy. We all know that we are dealing with a community problem for which there is no easy solution, but we will continue to work hard to ensure the Island remains a safe and secure community for everyone.’

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