The Isle of Wight High Harm Team have been developing intelligence to target drug suppliers on the Island, and will be focused on tackling knife and weapons carriers too.
Whilst we of course can’t tell you absolutely everything the team have been up to, for operational reasons, there are a few highlights we want to mention.
On Thursday last week (16 June), officers carried out a warrant at an address off Monks Lane in Freshwater.
Behind the scenes officers have been developing and piecing together intelligence which has resulted in this action being taken in Freshwater. At the address, we seized some cash as well as a small quantity of Class A and B drugs. This investigation now continues.
We have also been following up intelligence relating to drugs supply in the Shanklin area, which led to some arrests on Sunday 12 June. Members of the community have told us about an area where suspected drug deals have been taking place, so we paid this area a visit.
A man was stopped and searched along Regents Street, and officers conducted further searches at two nearby addresses. Cash and cannabis were seized, and an 18-year-old man and 19-year-old man were both arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs.
They were released from custody but remain under investigation as we progress further enquiries.
Moving forward, the High Harm Team will still be maintaining a focus on targeting knife carriers and anyone who possesses offensive weapons.
In addition, on the afternoon of 15 June an off-duty police officer in Ryde detained a 14-year-old boy who was suspected of carrying an imitation firearm as well as possessing cannabis. He was interviewed under caution for these offences and enquiries continue.
Superintendent Jim Pegler, Isle of Wight District Commander, said: “Our proactive High Harm Team has already been busy and working hard to pull pieces of intelligence together that have been coming in from the community, and have been targeting affected areas and perpetrators.
“I want to be clear to anyone on the Island who is involved in drugs supply, who carries a knife, a weapon, a firearm – whether it’s real or not, if you intend to use this for criminal purposes, then we are going to take action.
“We want our communities to please keep reporting information to us as this intelligence is key to informing our operational activity. Depending on what’s reported, you may not see an immediate police response, but I can reassure you we will be working behind the scenes to pull the bigger picture together.”