Pubdate: Sun, 10 Jun 2007
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Copyright: 2007 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Ben Parsons


A Series Of Raids By Detectives Have Led To A Drugs 'Drought' For 
Class A Addicts.

Nearly 30 people have been arrested in a series of drugs busts in 
Worthing, Adur, Chichester, Bognor and Littlehampton in the last two months.

Police were targeting hard drugs like heroin and crack cocaine.

They believe the hauls have left users unable to get their regular 'fix'.

Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tilzey, the crime manager for Sussex 
Police's West Downs division, said: "We have actually had quite a bit 
of feedback saying there is a massive shortage of heroin and cocaine.

"Since we have been running the operation we have arrested a lot of 
drug dealers that are dealing in class As."

The drug users arrested are offered the chance of treatment and rehabilitation.

DCI Tilzey said: "When there's a shortage there is more likelihood of 
them recognising their ongoing need of help.

"The reason we work with drug treatment agencies is to try to 
encourage these people to voluntarily seek treatment."

Five people were arrested at Clun Road in Littlehampton during a 
police operation on May 18.

A day of action on May 23 saw six people arrested after searches at 
seven homes along the coast from Worthing to Chichester.

Officers seized drugs, mobile phones and weighing scales as part of 
Operation Eagle.

In total 29 suspected drug dealers have been arrested, questioned and 
released on bail while officers carry out further inquiries.

DCI Tilzey said the need to analyse the substances seized and gather 
more information means police have to work slowly.

She said:"It is not always as straightforward as being able to do the 
job and charge them immediately.

"We'd rather make sure we can get all the evidence against the people 
to maximise the prison sentence and get those people off the streets."

She said drug and alcohol teams work with drug addicts to help them 
kick the habits that lead them to crime.

She said: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

"The point of it is for us to say to them: 'Look, haven't you had enough now?'"

People on drugs charges can have a better chance of being given a 
lenient sentence when convicted if they can show they are trying to 
beat their addiction.

Sussex Police plans to continue the campaign with more raids and 
arrests over the coming weeks.

DS Dave Payne, from the Operation Eagle team, said: "This is only the start.

"We intend to increase our activities targeting those involved in the 
supply of problematic drugs and use all available legislation to make 
life as difficult for dealers as possible.

"If you are a drug dealer - stop dealing or you will soon be 
receiving a visit from the Op Eagle team."

Anyone with information about drug dealing should contact Sussex 
Police on 0845 6070999 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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