Jersey police reintroduces specialised drug squad

Image caption,
Police said the team will build on existing operations focusing on drug related crimes

Jersey police will reintroduce a specialised drugs squad focusing on drug related investigations in the island over the next year.

Its main focus will be on two existing operations that have already resulted in drug seizures and convictions.

The team of eight officers will also work with Customs and Immigration and the new Community Policing Team.

Chief of Police Robin Smith said the squad will help "reduce the risks illegal drugs pose to the community".

Operation Lion has included what police described as "one of the most complex drug-related investigations ever undertaken by Jersey law enforcement agencies", which resulted in the imprisonment of drug smugglers last year.

Operation Shark launched last February, focusing on illegal drugs, and has so far seized about £50,000 of drugs.

States of Jersey Police said as well as continuing to focus on operations like this, the team will also target other organised crimes including modern day slavery, criminal and sexual exploitation and money laundering.

A drugs detection dog, Jack the springer spaniel, who is trained to find drugs, money and guns will also be part of the squad.

Image source, States of Jersey Police
Image caption,
Chief of Police, Robin Smith, said officers will "take positive action"

Mr Smith reassured islanders that Jersey has "relatively little crime" but officers "won't sit back on their laurels".

"Over the last year with disruption to borders, that's disrupted criminal networks," he said.

"But criminals are very entrepreneurial, they're ingenious and they won't be sitting back. They'll be thinking 2021 could be a boom year.

"In the same way, States of Jersey Police is not sitting back, we're able to respond, and this [drugs squad] is one of those indications that we're ready for it. We will take positive action.

"My warning to those considering importing or dealing drugs; we will find you and arrest you."

It has also been announced the Serious Crime Unit will revert back to its original name, the Criminal Investigation Department.

The force said the name change reflects its determination to get "back to basics" and deliver the best policing service to island.

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