Operation Medusa has helped take drugs and weapons off Devon streets

Devon & Cornwall Police

The commissioner has unveiled her strategy to tackle crime - Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

This week I’d like to thank the officers whose efforts to get drugs and weapons off the streets of Plymouth and South Devon has been so effective in the last few days.

In total 46 people were arrested during Operation Medusa. Seized drugs amounted to more than a kilo of crack, powdered cocaine worth £4,300, heroin worth £8,000 and £5,000 worth of cannabis. These are now safely off our streets and will be destroyed.

An imitation firearm, two crossbows, three knives and a baseball bat were also seized, along with Rolex watches worth an estimated £60,000, 11 cars and nearly £10,000 in cash.

Large parts of our community are considerably safer because this operation, which saw Devon and Cornwall officers work with a new Home Office funded team from Merseyside Police who are dedicated to tackling ‘county lines’ a method of drug distribution which is an abuse to our communities, often targeting young or vulnerable people.

For residents of a community where a county lines operation has set up it can be a living nightmare, with drug users visiting around the clock and antisocial behaviour on their doorstep.

Police were not the only ones involved in the operation. Young children were found at one property where dangerous class A drugs and weapons were present and social services were on hand to provide the help they needed.

This type of operation is important for so many reasons. Not only are drugs and weapons taken off our streets, with dealers facing sentences to pay for the misery they cause, but young people made vulnerable by their actions are now engaged with the services that can offer them safety and security. It also sends a message to elsewhere in the country that Devon and Cornwall is a hostile environment to drug dealers, and that if exploitative dealers pay us a visit, they might well find their trip extended with an unforeseen stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

While the excitement of the raids and seizures of this operation is behind the team, the officers who have put months of work into preparing for Op Medusa still have a colossal amount of work to do with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that justice is done. The Merseyside team said that Devon and Cornwall was the best prepared force it had visited to date, so I want to pay tribute to those at Charles Cross Police Station whose passion and drive has so helped their community become considerably safer.

I know, because you tell me this in every community that I visit, that drug dealing and use is something that you want tackling, that’s why it’s one of my four Police and Crime Plan priorities, that’s why you can expect more operations like Medusa.