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A six month undercover operation led by Surrey Police culminated today (Thursday, 26 January) in early morning raids across the county and in London and Sussex
Twenty-five people are in custody this afternoon (Thursday, 26 January) following dawn raids across the South-east aimed at tackling the supply of Class A drugs in Guildford and the surrounding areas. Officers seized a significant amount of Class A drugs and a quantity of cash in the activity which targeted 25 addresses.
Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team will be working closely with the local communities affected by this morning?s raids to offer reassurance and support. Surrey Police will also be working with its partner agencies to provide help to those who have been arrested and other drug users who need to break the cycle of addiction through rehabilitation and treatment.
Guildford Neighbourhood Commander Chief Inspector Matt Goodridge said: "The activity today is aimed at those who are bringing illegal drugs onto the streets of the borough; not just the users and dealers but those further up the supply chain who are organising the infiltration into our neighbourhoods from afar.
'The painstaking work involved to bring Operation Austen to its climax this morning comes as a result of information obtained on offenders, much of which has been forthcoming to officers on the streets who have built up strong relationships with their local communities. It is ultimately thanks to members of the public that we can take this large scale action aimed at stopping those who make a living from the misery of others.
'I want to be clear to everyone - if you are involved in the supply of drugs in the borough of Guildford do not sleep easy because it could be your door officers are calling at next."
But the activity does not end with the enforcing of the law, the local Safer Neighbourhood Team will be working closely with its partner agencies to offer help to those people who use drugs and need to break the cycle of addiction through rehabilitation and treatment. Similarly help and support will be offered to those people who have suffered as a result of anti-social behaviour linked to the individuals targeted today.
Kevin Deanus of the Surrey Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said: ?Reducing the demand for drugs in and around Surrey is a key priority for the DAAT. Operation Austen may be visible as a police enforcement action but there are so many other consequences for the families, friends and local communities that we need to support.