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Drugs worth £1.5m seized and 357 held in police crackdown in Nothern Ireland

By Deborah McAleese

Published 07/05/2015

A crackdown on drug dealers across Northern Ireland has resulted in the seizure of £1.46m in drugs in two months, police said.

More than £40,000 in cash was also seized, 357 people arrested and 1,823 searches conducted as part of an anti-drugs campaign launched in February by the PSNI, Policing and Community Safety Partnerships, and Crimestoppers.

The PSNI said that the main drug seized was herbal cannabis.

Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Operations, Will Kerr, said: "The principal drug seized was herbal cannabis worth £1.17m.

"We also seized £44,000 in cash which we believe is linked to drugs."

Of the 357 suspects arrested, 78 have been charged, 163 reported to the PPS and 55 released on police bail, Mr Kerr added.

"Although this operation has concluded, drugs will remain a policing priority. We will continue to disrupt and arrest those involved in the sale and supply of drugs, bring individuals before the courts and work with communities and partner agencies to reduce the threat of harmful and illegal activity," he said.

Justice Minister David Ford said those who deal in drugs "are a scourge on our society."

"I commend the PSNI for their continuing work to remove drugs from our streets and bring perpetrators to justice."

Crimestoppers reported a 23% increase in the number of anonymous tip-offs received regarding drug dealers.

Peter Stafford, the charity's chairman, said it was "an indication people do care about fighting crime in their community".

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