Over €3million worth of drugs seized in blitz on dealers
Some £2.7million (€3.1million) worth of illegal drugs has been seized in a police blitz on street level dealers in Northern Ireland.
In the first three weeks of the renewed Operation Torus, 297 searches led to 75 arrests and 19 people being charged or reported to the Public Prosecution Service.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said they have had significant success in the latest phase of the crackdown - which runs twice a year.
The force add that in the year to August this year, there were 5,308 drugs seizures - a slight increase on the previous year, while there 2,797 drugs related arrests, a 5% drop on the previous 12 months.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andrea McMullan, head of the PSNI's reactive and organised crime branch, said: "In the first three weeks of Operation Torus, we have had significant success in the number of searches, seizures and arrests linked to street level drug dealers across Northern Ireland.
"Drugs remain a policing priority due to the detrimental effects they can cause to individuals and communities.
"The seizure of £2,760,832 worth of drugs over the past three weeks is ongoing proof that our commitment to acting upon information provided by communities has paid off.
"We could not carry out the job we do without the help of communities. We continue to encourage anyone with information regarding drugs to come forward and help us reduce the threat of dangerous and illegal drugs on the streets."
The current phase of Operation Torus is running from September 5 until October 16.
Detective Chief Superintendent McMullan appealed for communities to keep reporting suspected drug dealing.
"The Police Service of Northern Ireland will continue to arrest and charge those involved in the sale and supply of drugs and bring those individuals before the courts," she said.
"We will also seize their illegal merchandise and take it out of circulation. Help from communities and partner agencies make this possible. The information they provide helps us to reduce the threat of harmful and illegal drugs activity in Northern Ireland."