Operation Dunsfold was launched in August, 2019, as a proactive approach to tackling county lines drug dealing - particularly cocaine dealers using vehicles to supply the class A drug.
County lines drug dealing refers to organised crime groups, usually from large, urban areas, selling drugs in smaller towns and rural communities. County lines is typified by the exploitation of young and vulnerable people, who are coerced or threatened into performing illegal activity.
Increasing violence has become a hallmark of the issue, which is most prevalent in Sussex in coastal towns such as Worthing.
Operation Dunsfold brought together officers and staff from the Prevention Enforcement Team, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Response, Investigation and Community Investigation Teams to undertake warrants, patrols and act on local intelligence.
Since August's launch, 32 arrests have been made, 23 vehicles seized, £13,000 recovered and between £13,000 and £15,000 worth of drugs taken off the streets, according to police.
According to Sussex Police, the 32 arrests constituted the following:
- A 27-year-old man was given a six year prison sentence
- A 28-year-old man from Worthing will appear at court next month to face two charges
- Seven were passed into the care of the Home Office
- Eight were given a caution
- Seven were released without further charge for drug offences
- One was dealt with by the means of a fine
- One was charged for driving offences
- Six remain released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing
PC Chris Corker of the Prevent Enforcement Team, who launched the operation, said: “Drugs can have a huge impact on the community and we are committed to disputing the dealers who try to deal dangerous drugs in Worthing.
“We investigate and prosecute those who would bring harm to local people and our proactive work over the last year has seen a notable reduction in those using vehicles to supply drugs to the area.
“We will continue to proactively tackle this behaviour and send out the message that those dealing drugs in Worthing are not welcome.”
You can report concerns around drug issues either online or by calling 101.