Police crack down on Derry drug dealers

Police in Derry have made hundreds of drugs seizures in recent months.
Police in Derry have made hundreds of drugs seizures in recent months.

There were almost 400 seizures of illegal drugs in Derry City in a recent crackdown on dealers, police have revealed.

Between April 1, 2014, and the end of February this year, the PSNI made a total of 388 seizures in the city.

This included 247 arrests with 169 people charged.

More recently, between February 9 and April 9 this year - across Derry, Strabane, Limavady and Magherafelt - there were 31 arrests in 304 searches and 214 seizures.

Local police commander, Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan, says the number of seizures in Derry reflects the priority that both police and the community place on tackling drugs issues.

He said: “‘Operation Torus’ was aimed at detecting and deterring street-level drugs dealing in a specific period – the kind of behaviour that many people are concerned about.

“A lot of the information we get comes from members of the public and we always act on it.

“When we carry out searches and arrests, we want to deal with offenders through the justice system and we want to ensure that offenders are dealt with in a way that protects the community and is appropriate to their individual circumstances.

“While Operation Torus was a specific operation in a specific timeframe, we carry out drugs operations week in and week out.”

Ch. Insp. Callaghan revealed that, in the past week alone, police have made four seizures and four arrests.

“We will continue to work with the community to tackle drugs,” he added. “This is a partnership that works to take drugs off our streets and put dealers before the courts. There is no alternative that can be justified in a law-abiding society.”