£1 million of drugs taken off Bedfordshire streets in 2018

Around £1 million of drugs were seized from dealers by Bedfordshire Police last year as part of ongoing efforts to tackle serious and organised crime.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:37 pm
Police news

The force’s drug expert witnesses gave evidence in 156 drug trafficking cases over the course of 2018.

As part of these cases, officers seized illegal street drugs worth an estimated £938,865, as well as at least £162,972 in cash.

Money seized by officers can be reinvested back into policing in Bedfordshire, as well as funding regional and national law enforcement.

Financial investigators at the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) worked with Bedfordshire Police to obtain 32 cash forfeiture orders, totalling £205,727.50, in the county under the Proceeds of Crime Act over the past 12 months.

Almost £173,000 of this was seized by investigators from ERSOU’s regional economic crime unit based at Luton Airport. Half of this money will be shared with the five police forces across the region.

In addition, last year some £44,801.29 was seized in Bedfordshire and forfeited by the courts after convictions under the Misuse of Drugs Act and the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act.

Around half of this money was given to charity while all of the remainder will go to Bedfordshire Police to reinvest in tackling the force's priorities.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Lay, who leads on organised crime for Bedfordshire Police, said: “These figures show the huge commitment our officers made towards tackling serious and organised crime in Bedfordshire last year.

“We know Bedfordshire faces a major challenge from organised crime compared to other forces. Drugs underpin much of this criminality, while hitting criminals in the pocket is a positive way to curtail some of the highest harm crimes we see in Bedfordshire.

“We can also use this money to reinvest in frontline policing across our communities.”

If you have any information about drugs or other organised crime, you can report it on 101 or visit the force’s online reporting centre.

All this information is fed into the force’s intelligence systems and plays a part in helping to tackle the county’s most serious criminals.

Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111