NEARLY one hundred arrests have been made following a targeted operation to tackle drug related issues in Weymouth, police have revealed this morning.

Dorset Police said since June last year it has responded to community concerns by increasing police presence and ‘robust patrols’ in the Melcombe Regis, Nothe and Chapelhay areas of the town in order to tackle criminal activity and provide reassurance to residents.

The operation resulted in over 97 arrests and a large amount of drug seizures have also been made, including over 64 including substantial amounts of heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis and over £6,000 seized from drug dealers.

Officers have also recovered over £1,000 in stolen items.

Cannabis street cautions have been issued, along with formal anti-social behaviour dispersal notices given to those causing anti-social behaviour in a particular area.

Inspector Neil Wood, of Weymouth Police, said: “As part of an ongoing operation targeting drug related crime in the area, a team of dedicated patrol and Safer Neighbourhood Team officers have been carrying out intelligence led, high visibility patrols.

“We have been successful in obtaining anti-social behaviour orders, drug house closures and dealing with street drinkers in order to reduce crime and increase public confidence.”

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s spokesman for community safety Councillor Geoff Petherick said: “The borough council takes anti-social behaviour and the problems caused by substance abuse very seriously.

“We currently co-ordinate a local multi-agency forum to help resolve issues such as anti-social behaviour in the area and are working closely with Dorset Police and other partners, such as drug and alcohol support agencies, to help tackle drug issues within the borough.

“I congratulate the police on the success of this.”

Dorset Police says it will continue to work closely with a broad range of stakeholders and partners as the operation moves forward.

As well as the borough council, it will also work with the Community Safety Partnership, drug and alcohol teams, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, the Probation Service, youth offending teams and local volunteer groups.

Local resident Martin James said: “The area has been plagued with anti-social behaviour. “I’ve witnessed prostitution, drug dealing and street drinking on a daily basis.

“Since the summer we’ve seen a real increase in police, with officers patrolling on bikes and out walking the beat. “We have noticed a significant improvement in the area.”

Insp Neil Wood added: “We take the concerns of the public very seriously and we will continue to work closely with members of the Weymouth community to keep the town safe and proactively deal with information relating to drugs offences and other criminal or anti-social behaviour.

“I would urge members of the public who may have concerns, suspicions or any information about the misuse of drugs to contact Dorset Police on 101, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.”