Op Viper and Op Scorpion working together to hit drug crime
This week we have seen Op Viper, Dorset’s own dedicated and proactive team who operate every week, being joined by Op Scorpion to tackle drug crime across the county.
Op Viper launched in April 2022 and has already been incredibly successful in cracking down on illegal drugs and drug-related crime in Dorset. It brings together a county lines task force and our Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams to drive out drugs from our local communities.
I was pleased to stand with the Chief Constable and witness the first warrants executed under Op Viper. The first six weeks of the operation saw £100,000 worth of illegal drugs seized and 29 arrests made and this has continued since then and this week the team have been executing warrants and hitting targets across Blandford and Bournemouth as well as other areas of the County.
I was there at one of the premises earlier on in the week, when a warrant was executed, and I have to once again commend the bravery and professionalism of all of the officers and staff involved.
The result of this warrant saw a 36-year-old man from Poole arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs as well as a 29-year-old woman from Bournemouth having to attend a voluntary interview in relation to the incident.
Op Scorpion, which launched in March of this year, has seen all five Police and Crime Commissioners and their respective police forces in the South West region (Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire), the British Transport Police, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and the charity Crimestoppers come together again to make our region a hostile environment for illegal drug activity. This puts a ring of steel around the South West and compliments our robust Dorset approach with Operation Viper.
The first phase of Op Scorpion took place in March this year and resulted in:
• 194 arrests in connection with drug-related offences
• 55 warrants carried out
• 400 drug line disruptions
• £404K of suspected drugs seized
• £131K of cash seized
• 320 vulnerability/welfare checks carried out and people safeguarded
• A vast array of weapons was seized including tasers, knives and machetes.
The second phase is currently ongoing.
Targeting criminality, taking drugs off our streets, sharing intelligence, and protecting the vulnerable are all at the heart of my promise to the people of Dorset to make their county the safest in England and Wales and so I’m looking forward to seeing the full results of yet another ground-breaking collaboration with our Operation Scorpion partners in conjunction with our own Operation Viper team.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner