POLICE have arrested 16 people in a major crackdown on drug dealing in Weymouth.
A small team of officers have been targeting local dealers and also people travelling to the town to supply illegal drugs.
Police chiefs say the well-planned, concentrated operation has caused a serious disruption to the drug trade and supply in the town.
Police say that for the last eight days a small dedicated team of officers has been working in Weymouth tackling the drug use and in particular the supply of controlled drugs.
Led by Sergeant Andy Jenkins the team has carried out 39 drug-related searches and made 16 arrests.
Several people have been charged and are awaiting court appearances. Others are on police bail pending further enquiries.
Officers have recovered 1.7kg of cannabis and 70 grams of what is believed to be the Class A drug heroin. They have also seized in excess of £2,500 in cash, which has been taken out of the drugs trade and recovered over £800 worth of stolen property.
On Thursday a 43-year-old Liverpool man was targeted after catching the 4pm train from Manchester to Weymouth. By 8.30pm he was in the police cells with a 37-year-old Weymouth man after both were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs.
Officers seized 18oz of what is believed to herbal cannabis and 2.4 grams of what is thought to be heroin from the pair during a search.
The operation follows several raids across Weymouth and Portland in recent weeks as police continue to try and stamp out the drugs trade in the borough.
They were carried out as part of Operation DUSK, a major investigation into the supply of class A and B controlled drugs, namely heroin and amphetamine, into the south west from the north west of England.
Police swooped on a series of addresses across Weymouth and Dorchester as part of Operation DUSK.
Dozens of officers carried out raids on 15 properties in the area.
A total of nine people were arrested for drug-related offences.
Officers also seized £1,000 in cash and amounts of what is believed to be class A and B controlled substances consistent with supply offences.
A total of 15 pre-authorised Misuse of Drugs Act Warrants were executed at 8am by officers from Dorset Police, including local neighbourhood policing teams, Zephyr and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
Police seized large amounts of cash and drugs from a flat on Abbotsbury Road.
Officers, who were at the address in relation to another incident, were alerted to the issue after they overheard two men discussing drugs and smelt what they thought was cannabis in the corridor.
They searched the flat and another premises.
Dorset Police confirmed that more than £500 was seized together with an amount of cash.
Police: 'We want to break the supply chains'
INSPECTOR Les Fry, Neighbourhood Inspector for Weymouth and Portland, said in the short time that the team has been working it has caused some serious disruption to the drug trade and supply in the town.
Insp Fry said: “It has been the result of a team of half a dozen officers who have been targeting those involved in the drugs trade.
“We want to break those supply chains by targeting people as they arrive.
“There’s been a lot of proactive work done.
“People seem to have become a bit brazen and this team has been targeting those people and will continue to focus their efforts on people involved in the supply of drugs.
“There have been some raids on properties. Usually this has come from the result of other things, from officers walking around town on high visibility patrols and observing people.
"It’s good old-fashioned policing.
“We will continue to target all those involved in the supply of controlled drugs. I would invite people to call or tell us who is supplying controlled drugs and we will act.”