Close to £80,000 worth of drugs have been seized by police officers in Dorset as part of a multi force operation.

Dorset Police took part in the seventh phase of Operation Scorpion, a collaboration with Devon, Avon & Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire police forces, along with the British Transport Police, and the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit.

The police used a varied approach including targeted warrant executions, visible policing in hotspot areas, address checks known to have been linked to cuckooing, patrols along travel networks  and robust efforts to safeguard vulnerable individuals.

Dorset Police arrested 37 people, seized £77,800 worth of class A and Class B drugs, and seized £18,000 worth of cash.

The force also issued 15 warrants and safeguarded 14 adults and five children. It also conducted 45 stop and searches and three hotspot patrols across the county.

Neil Corrigan, Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police, said: “This was a large operation involving both uniform and plain clothes officers across the region to disrupt drug activity and support local communities.

“The activity carried out as part of Operation Scorpion was centred on the intelligence and information received from local communities about individuals involved in drug supply.

“Using information reported to police and Crimestoppers, forces were able to build up a picture of what illegal activity was happening and use the intelligence to inform how and where we would target our operational activity.”

Across the south west region, a total of 126 arrests were made and over £814,000 worth of drugs were seized, including one seizure of three bottles of Methadone, five Valium tablets, 166 MDMA tablets, tobacco and vapes with a value of £500,000.

Over £95,000 worth of cash was seized along with 67 weapons, with over 200 weapons surrendered by the public, and 135 vulnerable people were safeguarded.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick said: “I know the damage illegal drugs can do to communities, and that is why I am so pleased to see these results from the latest round of Operation Scorpion.

“During phase seven, as well as maintaining our focus on the ‘ring of steel’ across the south west, our aim was to target visible street dealing by disrupting those who cause harm in our communities through drug dealing and other associated crimes.

“From stopping vehicles and carrying out warrants at reported properties to safeguarding vulnerable people and returning stolen goods to businesses, I saw first-hand the work carried out by officers and want to thank and commend them for their dedication to driving drugs out of our communities.

“I am clear; drug gangs and those intent on bringing illegal drugs to Dorset and the wider south west region will be targeted and removed. The police will find you; they will follow you and they won’t stop until they’ve got you.”