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Number of suspected dealers caught supplying heroin and cocaine trebles
Arrests by Keighley police of suspected Class A drugs dealers have more than trebled in just four months, the Keighley News can exclusively reveal.
Between April and July this year, 41 people were held for the supply of illegal top-category narcotics, which include heroin and cocaine. The figures compare to just 12 in the same period last year.
At the same time, arrests for possessing Class A substances have fallen by almost a third, from 22 to just eight.
And the overall number of drugs-related arrests by Airedale and North Bradford officers dropped slightly, from 132 to 126.
Chief Inspector Steve Thomas – the division’s head of crime – welcomed the figures, but vowed the force would continue its fight against drugs, urging the public to support its efforts to clean up our streets.
“Despite the impact of the spending cuts, we have sustained our efforts in tackling drug-related crime,” he said.
“These statistics demonstrate just one of the many tactics used to target these criminals, whose assets we continue to seize under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“So far this year, we have seized almost £80,000, which will be used to fund further policing operations as well as community projects.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins paid tribute to the police for their efforts, and backed their plea to the public.
“Once again, frontline officers in Keighley deserve our thanks and congratulations for their sterling efforts in taking these drugs, and the individuals who peddle them, off our streets,” he said.
“But, unfortunately, the scourge of drug dealing will remain, so we must continue to be vigilant and help the police whenever and wherever we can.”
Chief Insp Thomas added: “Drugs and firearms often go hand in hand, and that is why we work closely with the Bradford district team on initiatives like Operation Sabredale, to tackle and disrupt those criminals who use or threaten to use firearms in their activities.
“But as impressive as these statistics are we can always do better, and anyone with information about drugs is asked to contact Airedale and North Bradford Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”
Councillor Graham Mitchell, who chairs the town council’s watch & transport committee, whose remit includes crime, said he was delighted with the police figures.
But he was quick to add: “We should remember drugs are not a problem unique to Keighley. They are all too present in today’s society, and Keighley is no different to other towns.”
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