Posted: Thu 5th Jan 2017

Combatting illegal drugs on the streets of Connah’s Quay is number one priority for new police Inspector

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jan 5th, 2017

Community leaders in Connah’s Quay have been told police may have “taken their eye off the ball” in recent years when it comes to drugs problems in the area.

Flintshire North Inspector Andy Griffiths was welcomed by councillors to his first meeting at Connah’s Quay Town Council on Wednesday evening and he vowed to listen to what the community has to say about crime in the town.

The Inspector who took over from Flintshire North District Inspector Angela Sharp said combating illegal drugs on the streets of Connah’s Quay was his number one priority.

During the meeting town councillor Ron Hill raised concerns around the number of needles found in the Central Park area, he said:

“There have been many needles found in the area so there must be a lot of drug taking happening

We know about it so the police must know about it aswell, its a common place and people are finding needles there.”

In response Inspector Griffiths said he expected police in Deeside to be aware of the issues in Central park and that given he had only been in the area one day, he would need to do some research and find out what is happening about it.

Asked what his main priorities will be as the new Flintshire North Inspector, Mr Griffiths said:

“Ive got to listen to what people are telling me, i can see figures on police systems but i need to know what the main concerns are for people in Connah’s Quay, often the two don’t tally up.

We can be combatting certain issues successfully, but that may not be what people want us to look at.”

Community Meetings

Coming from Flintshire South Inspector Griffiths said the problems there were likely to be very much the same as they are in North Flintshire.

“One thing i would like to do is hold more community meetings, i understand meetings held previously had not been well attended and i would like to find a way of addressing that issue” he said.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones held a series of public consultation meetings recently with drugs being highlighted as a huge issue in many communities.

Inspector Griffiths said the view was “police may have taken their eye off the ball in relation to drugs in the last few years.”

Councillor Chris Risley felt the issue of drugs in Connah’s Quay had “become an accepted part of life” for some over past few years and had witnessed drugs were being used openly on the streets and recently in a pub he visited.

Cllr Risley said that culture of acceptance may be resulting in less people reporting drug related issues to police “It’ll be an uphill battle to change that culture.”

Inspector Griffiths outlined the need for members of the community to play their part in the fight against illegal drugs;

“We need information to come in so we can act on intelligence” he said, adding we will see a change of focus from police across the whole of North Wales in relation to illegal drugs.

Operation Viper

A series of raids took place just before Christmas marking the launch of Operation Viper.

The operation is specifically targeting those concerned in ‘street dealing’ of controlled drugs in North Wales.

Police executed Misuse of Drugs Act search warrants and carried out a number of ‘street searches’ across the region.

Operation Viper was specifically set up to address concerns raised by a number of communities where ‘street dealing’ was taking place.

Supt Mark Pierce who is leading the force-wide campaign said;

“As a result of concerns raised at recent public meetings and in other forums, both plain clothes and uniformed officers will focus on suspected street dealers and deal with offenders in a positive and robust way.  

“These few individuals are ‘pedalling’ the most harm on our streets and our intention is to make it clear their offending will not be tolerated.   Each and every street dealer can inevitably lead us to crime groups active in our region, so not only will we be removing drugs from our streets and keeping our communities safe, we’ll also be helping to tackle those higher up the supply chain.

“Information can be passed to Police in several ways, from either speaking to your local Police Officer or PCSO, contacting the control room direct via the new web live chat – phoning 101 or messaging via Facebook or Twitter.

“If you’d rather pass information anonymously, please phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“In line with the force’s Operation Scorpion we are fully committed to the investigation of serious and organised crime and eradicating it from our communities. I’d reiterate that anyone with information regarding the production and supply of controlled drugs or anyone they believe is involved in organised crime contact North Wales Police.”

 

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