Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, has announced the creation of a new organised crime and drugs team for the county.
The force has said the development, which will be led by Chief Constable Adrian Lee, marks a significant step forward in the drive to “bring to justice those who cause the most harm in communities across the county”.
Mr Simmonds said: “The public in Northamptonshire want to see the eradication of the scourge of drugs use, which lies behind many of our country’s crime problems and indeed is at the heart of our ambition to make Northamptonshire the safest county in the country.
“Agencies with responsibilities for tackling drug users who commit crime in our communities need to get tougher.
“I am determined that we do everything we can to stamp out drug use and the criminality associated with it.
“I am delighted that the Chief Constable has responded positively and rapidly in creating this team and I know people will welcome this development.”
The force believes that about 60 per cent of serious and organised crime in the county is drug-related.
Mr Lee said: “Serious and organised crime, and the drugs element so often associated with it, can bring fear and violence to communities, so it’s essential that we do all we can to prevent it and target those who cause harm and bring misery to our neighbourhoods.
“This team will make us more effective at tackling these issues.
“It will be fully operational in the new year and, as well as focusing on some of our most prolific drug dealers, will be a key link into the regional serious and organised crime team - which comprises of specialist officers and staff from across the east midlands, with whom we work very closely on particularly serious and cross-border criminality.”
The new team will be led by a detective inspector, supported by a further 10 detectives, with an exclusive focus on serious, organised and drug crime in the county.