Northamptonshire Police 12-week ‘Matters of Priority’ campaign kicks-off tackling county’s drug problems

‘This is an issue communities asked us to focus on because there is a clear connection between drug dealing and crimes such as theft and violence’

A 12-week campaign tackling Northamptonshire Police’s four matters of priority kicks-off on Monday (July 4) with a focus on drugs.

Led by Chief Inspector Nathan Murray, the week encompasses all types of activity including traditional enforcement operations, community engagement events, and the Northamptonshire Emergency Service Cadets sharing videos on the dangers of the most common drugs.

In May, Chief Constable Nick Adderley announced the four crime types his force will focus on — violence against women and girls, drug harm, serious and organised crime and serious violence — for the next three years.

Previously, priorities have changed on an annual basis, but the new approach will allow the force to develop longer term strategies to tackle the most serious criminality and make the county an even more hostile place for offenders.

Chief Inspector Nathan Murray said: “Over the next few months you can expect to see a lot of overt police activity tackling all four of the matters of priority.

“This week will focus on drug harm and will see a whole host of activity take place including warrants, various operations, community engagement events with our force beat bus, an input from our cadets and a real focus on safeguarding.

“This is one of the issues our communities have asked us to focus on because there is a clear connection between drug dealing and other crimes such as theft and violence.

Chief Inspector Nathan Murray vows to tackle Northamptonshire's drug problems during a week-long campaign

“We understand the issues linked to drugs are complex and that’s why this week of action will showcase a holistic approach with safeguarding and grassroots work taking place as well as your more traditional enforcement.

“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to ask that any members of the public who may have information relating to drugs in their community, to contact us. Community intelligence could be vital and allows us to build up a bigger picture of what is going on and where we need to focus our resources.”

Before the 12-week campaign got under way, officers uncovered a huge cannabis farm in Essex Street, Northampton, during a raid on Thursday (June 30).

Officers seized 157 plants across four rooms of a house, worth around £150,000.

Hung Van Nguyen, aged 45, of no fixed abode, has been charged with producing cannabis in connection with the find.

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In addition to greater visibility, proactive strikes on known offenders and community engagement designed to gain intelligence, police will be publishing the names and faces of some of the most wanted outstanding criminals in the county.

Mr Adderley said: “Criminals should be under no illusion that this will be a sustained campaign to target those who choose to cause misery in our communities by their offending, whether it be links to drugs, domestic abuse, serious organised crime or violent offending.

“I’m urging the public to get behind this period of intense pulse activity and support us wherever you can, whether it be sharing our messaging, helping us build intelligence or simply learning more about why these are the areas we must focus our greatest efforts.”