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Police in Worthing keep up the pressure on drug dealers

News   •   Mar 11, 2019 11:30 GMT

Officers have been out in force across roads, rails and streets in in order to stem the flow of drugs coming into the seaside town of Worthing.

The operation, on Thursday (7 March) came under Operation Fortress, the force’s continuing response to ‘County Lines’ activity within Sussex, with a visible policing presence in three main areas where drug dealing is known to happen.

25 stops and searches of individuals were carried out, and two men were arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs.

47-year old Johnathan Mateer, unemployed, of Robinson Close, Lancing, has been charged with possession of heroin and crack cocaine and is due to appear at Worthing Magistrates Court on 22 March. 

The other man, aged 47 and from New Addington in South London,was released under investigation.

A 23-year-old Goring-By-Sea woman who was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply accepted a formal police caution.

District Commander Chief Inspector Miles Ockwell said “This activity provides not only a great visual deterrent to those considering drug dealing in Worthing, but also a visible policing presence in the town to reassure residents that we are tackling illegal activity here.”

“Officers were out from early on in the day to catch the rush hour traffic, and carried out further operations on the railways and the streets. We know criminals will use a number of methods and areas to deal drugs, and we want to send a clear message to them that not only is drug supply not welcome in the town, we are also tackling this across the county.”

“County Lines activity is known to come from bigger cities, and to use vulnerable people to carry out work on behalf of gangs. It is our job to keep the community safe by promoting the hostile environment that Sussex is for drug supply. We will continue work to stem the flow of drugs throughout the year.

“As part of our operation we visited hotels and bed and breakfast premises to raise awareness of this issue and to make it clear that suspected drug dealing activity must be reported to the police.”

Police work to combat illegal drugs in Sussex continues under the 'Fortress' brand, launched to encompass all our drug-harm reduction work.

Anyone with information about suspected illicit drug activity in their community can report details online or call 101, quoting Operation Fortress.

Alternatively details can be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers online or by phoning 0800 555 111.

For further information about police work to combat County Lines activity in Sussex see the force website.