THE man tasked with continuing Burton’s ‘war on drugs’ has outlined the revolutionary consolidation plan drawn up to keep the heat on dealers.
Sergeant Bob Champeau spoke exclusively to the Mail about a raft of initiatives set to be launched in a bid to make sure the ‘good work of Operation Nemesis doesn’t go to waste’.
The plans include a new strategy that could be rolled out forcewide involving drug raids, more enforcement operations and greater education targeted at schoolchildren.
He told the Mail: “We have now reached the consolidation phase of Operation Nemesis which is all about working with partner agencies and the community to tackle drugs problems head-on.
“This will include continued operations as well as initiatives that include work on education, community safety and drug addiction.
“We are doing this to prevent an upsurge in drug-related crime, to prevent an increase in drug-related deaths and to prevent new dealers from entering the market place.”
The strategy will include working with several partners in the town to try to set up a ‘one stop shop’ for dealing with drug addiction.
Sgt Champeau also detailed a plan which will see the launch of community drug forums.
This would be driven by East Staffordshire Borough Council and would see people asked to volunteer to take part.
Monthly meetings would then take place to share information with police, schools, the NHS and other agencies and also offer an opportunity to talk about any problems.
The force revealed that since the two operations drug misuse partner Addaction had seen a rise in the number of referrals, going from 19 this time last year to 29 following the raids.
East Staffordshire Borough Council is also helping to identify drug hotspots after a communication line was set up so council officials can now report where and when they find drug paraphernalia around the area.
The police will then use this data to approach people in the area to see if there is a problem.
Sgt Champeau added: “This strategy has been drawn up after looking at several similar operations across the country.
“We hope we have picked the best bits and merged them together.
“We are also piloting an approach in East Staffordshire which will mean that after every drug warrant is issued, we will have some form of consolidation operation afterwards to reassure the public and mop up any problems.
“If this is a success, it could be rolled out across the force.
“I think it should be known that this is not just a flash in the pan, we will see this through and work for as long as it takes to rid Burton of this drug issue and remove the vicious circle that has been in operation across the town for some time.”
For the first time, it has also been disclosed how many agencies and partners were involved in Operation Nemesis.
Staffordshire County Council’s safeguarding and district commissioning team joined Trent and Dove, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Burton’s Queen’s Hospital and Molson Coors.
From within the police force, the regional organised crime unit, road policing team, neighbourhood and response teams, enforcement teams and offers from across Staffordshire and the West Midlands were a part of the biggest drugs operation in the town’s history.