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Rise in drug and knife relates arrests 'shows tangible results'

An average of four arrests a day are now being made as part of a crackdown on burglary, drugs and knife crime across Avon and Somerset.

The force has been focussing on the issue over the past six months.

They've also been giving out things like smart water - which helps people mark their property so it can be recovered.

Since the start of Operation Remedy, officers have seized an estimated £1.3 million worth of illegal drugs. 

There has been a seven per cent increase in the number of drug-related arrests - compared to the previous six months from October 2018 to March 2019.

A force report says 'the increase in arrests can be attributed to intensified operational activity including monthly enforcement and warrant days to tackle drug supplies and a higher number of high visibility patrols in problem areas.

'Targeted communication campaigns have raised awareness of the signs of drug-related activity, helped identify vulnerable people and increased reports of suspicious activity'.

'There has been a 45% increase in the number of knife possession offences recorded in Avon and Somerset over the past two years, with 204 individual offences recorded between April and August this year. 

'The high volume of arrests during the 2019 period is a result of the additional resources that have been made available as part of Operation Remedy which has also resulted in a number of knives and weapons seized.

'Activity to combat knife crime includes 570 intelligence-led stop and searches, multiple knife sweeps and temporary knife arches at train stations including Bath Spa, Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads.'

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen said: "We are now six months into Operation Remedy and I am delighted to see some tangible results, particularly the sustained reduction in the number of burglary offences.

"We are committed to tackling the crimes that matter most to local people and prosecuting those responsible. Operation Remedy is a truly coordinated effort involving officers and staff from specialisms across the entire force including response, neighbourhood, investigations and intelligence.

"Of course, there is more to be done but I am excited by the progress made so far and hope our efforts reassure the public of our commitment in cracking down on these important issues."

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "I know local people will be pleased with the Operation Remedy outcomes achieved over the last six months and I am especially delighted with the increased number of positive outcomes for burglary offences. 

"It is important that, as well as drugs and knife crime, we address the disruptive crime that is burglary. Many burglary victims have shared with me how upsetting this crime is and it can mean that they live in fear in the place they should feel safest - their own home.

"Increasing the policing part of the council tax in April was a big ask and I hope local people are starting to see and feel the difference that the additional officers have made. 

"There is still plenty more to be done and I know the constabulary will remain focused on tackling the issues that matter most to local people and bringing offenders to justice."

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