DRUG suppliers are being warned by police that their activity will not be tolerated in the county.
Throughout the week Cumbria Police will be promoting the work they do in order to limit and disrupt the damaging effect of the drugs trade including those drugs deemed illegal and new substances which have not yet been classified.
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In recent months Cumbria Police has seized nearly £1,000,000 worth of drugs and has seen a number of prosecutions lead to sizeable jail terms in relation to drug supply.
They said it is a widely-held view that funding drug addiction can lead to further criminal activity and this illicit trade can cause real harm in our communities.
Police regularly visit schools and community groups in order to highlight the dangers of drugs and the knock-on effect of further crime. This is aimed to discourage people from experimenting with controlled substances or new psychoactive substances. These have often been referred to as ‘legal highs’ in the past.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Slattery said: “Being in possession of or supplying a controlled drug same can lead to an arrest, prosecution and a criminal record. The penalty for being found guilty at court ranges from being fined to receiving a substantial term of imprisonment.
“Drugs are a stepping stone into further criminal activity. Some people turn to crime to help fund their addiction and many find themselves spiralling out of control until the point where they have lost their freedom and have been sentenced to a term in prison.
“The health risks with drugs are well documented. Whether deemed illegal or not, drugs destroy lives. You cannot be sure with what you’re putting in your body and how your body will react.
“The priorities for the Constabulary are to encourage drug users to seek help in beating addiction and to relentlessly identify and prosecute drug suppliers. As a force we are continuously monitoring and gaining further intelligence on suppliers in order to prosecute offenders and prevent open drugs markets from emerging in our communities.
“We ask that those who notice anything suspicious or have information that would assist us to pass that on via Neighbourhood Policing Teams or anonymously via Crimestoppers. Working together with Police will further put pressure on those who use drugs to ruin lives and line their own pockets.”
Police will also be targeting drug-use ahead of the county’s forthcoming music festivals.
At Kendal Calling, Police may search festival-goers on their way in and those caught with illegal substances will be banned from entering and could face police arrest.
A ‘drugs amnesty bin’ will be placed at the entrance and a Police Desk will be at the festival where information on new psychoactive substances will be available for those who are concerned.
Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said: “Drugs destroy lives. We all have a responsibility to keep drugs off the streets and protect people and communities. I welcome the Police campaign and it is very much about us all working together. I would urge people to contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously if they have any information about drugs.”
Police will be issuing advice on social media highlighting the dangers of taking both controlled substances and new psychoactive substances and the consequences of prolonged substance abuse.
Officers will also be issuing out business cards from drug awareness charity FRANK on the dangers of new psychoactive substances.
For further information on drugs please visit www.talktofrank.com.
Anyone who has any information into the supply of drugs in Cumbria or sees suspicious activity is asked to report this to Cumbria Police on 101.