THE crackdown on drug offences in the Bridlington area is working, says the town’s police chief.
Insp Grant Taylor promised to get tough on drugs and a range of other crimes when he was appointed temporary head of Bridlington’s Neighbourhood Police Team in July last year.
Three cannabis factories have been discovered over the festive period – including two drugs raids carried out last week – which has seen tens of thousands of pounds of drugs taken off the town’s streets.
And police figures show that almost as many arrests were made in relation to drug offences in Insp Taylor’s first five months in charge than were made in Bridlington in the whole of 2011.
Insp Taylor said: “This doesn’t mean that drug abuse is on the rise, it means we are putting even more effort into dealing with the issue and getting drugs off the street. It is a real positive.”
There were 53 arrests made for drug offences between July 1 and December 12 2012, compared with 54 in 2011 as a whole.
“One of my priorities when I came to Bridlington was to crack down on drugs, and this is a successful approach,” said Insp Taylor, who told the Free Press that between July and November, 133 drug possession offences and 14 trafficking offences were recorded by police – compared to 165 and 22 throughout 2011 as a whole.
“We are not saying that Bridlington has a bigger drug problem than anywhere else, because it doesn’t, but by targeting and arresting people involved in illegal drugs we send out a message,” he said.
Other crimes have also seen a drop in arrests, especially in targeted areas such as shop theft, criminal damage, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We want Bridlington to be a safe place to go out and enjoy. Looking at the anti-social behaviour statistics, we saw a drop in arrests from 65 in June to 47 in October and 36 in November.
“This is traditionally one of the worst times of the year for that behaviour, after Hallowe’en and bonfire night which is known as mischief week, so it is another result,” said Insp Taylor, who was confirmed as the permanent head of Bridlington’s policing team just before Christmas.
“We are working with shop owners to try and bring down shop theft, and with members of the night time economy in Bridlington to bring down assaults and violent behaviour.”
Insp Taylor acknowledged the number of house burglaries “spiked” in Bridlington towards the end of 2012, including the theft of Mayor Michael Charlesworth’s civic chains, but he said police had targeted individuals in an effort to reduce that number.
A substantial haul of jewellery, including part of the civic chains, were recovered in December.
Insp Taylor thanked members of the public who have helped police by providing information, as well as Bridwatch, which was recently relaunched in the town.