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Diss drugs crackdown aims to send a message to drug users

PUBLISHED: 09:40 26 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:40 26 June 2014

Plain clothed police patrol Diss town centre with sniffer dogs in a drugs crackdown.
PC James Stables.

Plain clothed police patrol Diss town centre with sniffer dogs in a drugs crackdown. PC James Stables.

Archant norfolk

A drugs crackdown has been launched in Diss with police patrolling the town with specially-trained dogs.

Joined by Jazz, the black Labrador, a team of four officers and four specials set out to try to find those engaging in criminal activity.

The Mercury joined officers for the walk around the town centre, which began with a debriefing at the police station in Stanley Road.

PC James Stables explained the operation was the first of its kind to be tried in Diss but that more dog patrols could take place in the future if it proved a success.

The patrol, which took place on Saturday, June 21, was partly intelligence-led, through details gleaned from speaking to people in the town, although it was also partly to discover more information.

PC Stables said: “It is a good operation because it gets the message out there that if this type of activity is going on, we will deal robustly with it.

“The aim is for us to get the message out there that this is a resource we can use. The searches can provide us with an awful lot of information and that amount of intelligence is invaluable.”

The team was split into groups, with officers in plain clothes.

The Mercury joined the first group to head out with PCs Ellie Knull and Jim Squires. PC Stables and a dog handler followed behind, with a third group of three officers behind them.

The teams, which were in constant radio contact, followed a route along Park Road, across Mere Park, then up through Mere Street and Chapel Street and along The Entry to Rectory Meadow.

After passing through the meadow, PC Knull received a call from PC Stables about a potential find among a group of men who had been drinking by one of the benches on the meadow.

White powder could be seen on the bench, while a foil wrap was also discovered - apparently discarded - behind the seating area.

Two of the five men were arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs. PC Stables said Jazz had alerted them by rushing over and sitting upright between the legs of one of the men sat on the bench — the signal she gives about a potential find.

He added the two men were set to be taken into custody, while police would seek warrants to search their homes.

n What do you think about the crackdown? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Mercury Letters, 26 Mere Street, Diss, IP22 4AD or email dma.news@archant.co.uk

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