PCC Coppinger was present at the incineration of £1m of drugs by CDET in June 2014.
Over 5,770 cannabis plants, £2m worth of drugs seized, 138 warrants served and 140 people arrested – with more to follow. The impressive figures come as Cleveland Police’s Community Drug Enforcement Team (CDET) celebrates its first year.
The CDET was formed last November as a result of a major reorganisation of the force and since then the specialist team has worked tirelessly to rid the streets of drugs and to reduce the associated other crime and antisocial behaviour often associated with drug dealing.
Just under 200 offences have been brought to justice, with many cases widely reported in local, regional and national media.
And Detective Inspector Christian Ellis of CDET warned that there are more than 100 people currently under investigation or on bail for drugs offences.
Paying tribute to his team he said: "I am really impressed by the dedication shown by officers within the Community Drug Enforcement Team over the last 12 months to achieve the results they have.
"We have not done this alone. We have worked in conjunction with local neighbourhood officers, support staff and partners, as well as other national law enforcement agencies organisations like the Border Agency, National Crime Agency (NCA), HM Customs and Excise and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
"Our achievements would not have been possible without the support shown by the local community and we owe them a big thank you.
"By taking the time to report concerns, they often provide us with the initial information that then leads to officers being able to take action. This then removes both dangerous drugs from the streets - and the individuals who prey on the vulnerable who buy them."
Chief Supt Gordon Lang, Head of Neighbourhood and Partnership Policing Command said: "The CDET is an invaluable asset to the force and one which works tirelessly to address and resolve issues which are so often raised via neighbourhood officers."
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger added: "Tackling drugs is an absolute priority for this force. When I am out meeting residents and asking them for their concerns, I hear time and time about the misery drug dealing can cause in our communities.
"The CDET’s first year has been an extremely successful one and I congratulate all those involved in their work. I would also like to pay tribute to our partner organisations whose support and input is very much appreciated. With the continued support of local people, I’m sure the team will continue to build on its success."
Det Insp Ellis urged residents to continue to report information on illegal drug dealing or use to police. This can be done directly and in confidence to CDET on 0800 092 9702, or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Posted on Monday 17th November 2014