OPERATION Strikeout is making a difference in Chester and the surrounding area.
That’s the view of local officers who have made significant drugs finds while carrying warrants as part of the ongoing initiative.
Since the start of Operation Strikeout earlier this year Chester officers have uncovered three huge cannabis factories containing more than 1,600 plants in total.
There have also been several discoveries of smaller cannabis operations, including two in Tarvin and Frodsham, with each boasting between 15–70 plants.
nspector Ian Thorp, of Chester Outer Neighbourhood Policing Unit said: “The various discoveries and the action taken by officers shows just how committed we are in Chester to ridding our streets of illegal drugs.
“There is no doubt that the supply and use of drugs has a massive impact on crime with those addicted to the drugs often turning to criminal acts to feed their habits.
“By taking drugs out of the hands of dealers we are preventing them from getting out onto the streets and are putting a major dent in the supply chain.
“Operations such as Strikeout and other initiatives we have carried out are having an effect and we will continue taking positive action where problems persist.”
A view shared by Inspector Mel Williams whose officers have also had a major hand in taking illegal drugs off the streets.
He added: “We are pleased with what has been achieved so far this year, but are not so naïve to think the problem has been solved.
“Illegal drugs are still one of the biggest challenges facing police and, while we are committed to tackling the issue, we need assistance from the public.
“Intelligence and information from local residents is essential if we are to continue seeing successful action taken against drug users and suppliers.
“Despite our best efforts police officer simply cannot be everywhere and we need as many people as possible to report any suspicious activity – particularly if they feel it is connected to drugs.
“Often local residents will notice people hanging around or addresses that seem to have a large number of visitors.
“It may be that there are genuine reasons for this type of behaviour, but it is better to report this to the police and allow us to investigate.
“That one phone call could be the vital piece of information that leads to another cannabis factory being closed down.”
If you see any suspicious behaviour or believe there is drug-related activity in your area call Cheshire Police on 0845 458 0000 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.