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Hampshire police seize drugs in north of the country

The Hampshire Constabulary Fortress team has been working with Greater Manchester Police, Lancashire police and Cheshire Police to execute four warrants in the north of the country.

Five people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering offences, after officers seized a quantity of suspected drugs and cash during searches.

The warrants were executed as part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of class A drugs in Southampton and Winchester.

A number of arrests have previously been made as part of this investigation and four people have been convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs resulting in a total of over 12 years imprisonment.

Detective Inspector Amanda Horsburgh said: "An offender may not live in our force area but that certainly doesn’t mean we will turn a blind eye to their offending.

"We will not tolerate individuals who come to Hampshire or the Isle of Wight to deal drugs and exploit the vulnerability of drug users.”

Sentences for drugs offences

More people have been sentenced for drug offences following one of the biggest operations in Dorset in recent years. Dorset Police pro-actively targeted street level drug dealers in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth where there was a suspicion that drugs offences were being committed.

Carla Maidment, was handed a 16 months prison sentence for supplying controlled drugs. Credit: Dorset Police
David Bate, received a two year suspended sentence with supervision and drug rehabilitation requirement. Credit: Dorset Police
Justin Eugene Smith, received a two-months suspended sentence for possession of controlled drugs. Credit: Dorset Police
George Byworth, received five years and eight months in prison for supplying controlled drugs. Credit: Dorset Police

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  1. Tom Savvides

Mother calls for the legalisation of drugs

The mother of a 15 year old school girl from Oxford who died after taking pure ecstasy is calling on the Government to legalise drugs. Martha Fernback collapsed and died after taking a substance called MDMA last year. It comes as a major parliamentary drugs debate took place today. Some MP's, including Brighton's Caroline Lucas, say drug laws should focus on treatment rather than punishment. This report from Tom Savvides includes interviews with Anne-Marie Cockburn, Caroline Lucas MP, Norman Baker MP and Maryon Stewart.

Brighton Pavilion MP's debate on drug laws on agenda

Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion MP, secured today's debate with cross-party backing Credit: MP's website

A debate on the UK's drug laws is to take place in Parliament later. Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, secured the discussion with cross-party backing and a petition which amassed 130,000 signatures.

Speaking ahead of the debate, the MP said:

“We all want a drugs policy that works. We want policies that reduce drug-related deaths and protect our children. Policies that rid our communities of the harms associated with drugs misuse and which ensure individuals get the help and support they need.

“But if we’re to have a drugs policy that does all of these things, then it has to be based on evidence.

“This debate is not about being for or against drugs reform. It’s about making sure we have the best possible laws based on the best possible evidence. It is the responsibility of every MP to be there to represent their constituents.”

– Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Pavilion, Green Party
Drug laws including those on the use of cannabis are being debated by MPs Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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  1. National

'No chance' drugs will be legalised, government say

The Tories say there is "no chance" drugs will ever be legalised. Credit: PA

There is "no chance" drugs will be legalised following a report which states tougher laws have no effect on substance misuse, the government say.

A Liberal Democrat report claims it is "pointless" punishing drug users and more time should be spent on cracking down on criminal gangs who traffic drugs than addicts

But in a statement Number 10 said: "This report provides no support whatsoever for the Lib Dem's policy of decriminalisation. In fact, it clearly states that it would be inappropriate to draw those kind of conclusions.

"The Lib Dem policy would see drug dealers getting off scot-free and send an incredibly dangerous message to young people about the risks of taking drugs

"As the report makes very clear, the Government's approach already provides a good balance between enforcement and treatment, drug use is plummeting as a result and there is simply no chance that we will entertain such a reckless change of course ."

Mother issues drugs warning after son left unconscious

A traumatised mother has released harrowing pictures of her son lying unconscious in a hospital bed after he collapsed at a nightclub in Dartford. 18 year old Jack McEwan was taken seriously ill after drinking in the Crush Club. He believes he had his drink spiked with Ketamine, but has no idea why. Andrea Thomas reports.

Seven people charged with conspiracy of drug supply

Hampshire police have charged seven people in connection with the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.

The 18-month long investigation also found laundering of cash proceeds with the drug supplies.

The following are due in court in Southampton today on conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin:

  • Amarjit Dhillon, 34, of Southampton
  • Mervyn Headley, 47, of Southampton
  • Alizan Bockhari, 30, of Feltham
  • Sandeep Panesar, 30, of Slough
  • Munider Singh, 26, of Southall
  • Parmjit Dhaliwal, 27, of Hayes
  • Muhrukh Dogar, 28, of Slough

The investigation, named Operation Fortress, also found a well established network of organisers, financiers, couriers and street level suppliers.

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