How Operation Reacher Is Tackling Drug Crime

In 2020, the county of Nottinghamshire launched Operation Reacher in an effort to tackle the escalating problem of drug dealing in the area. The strategy, which is part of the countywide response to serious and organised crime, seeks to reduce the number of people dealing drugs, disrupt their activities, support those affected by drug use, and keep communities safe. The county-wide roll out followed from the success of the first Operation Reacher team in Bestwood in April 2018

11 Operation Reacher teams were deployed in Nottinghamshire in October 2020. In their first 12 months, these teams arrested or detained 2,026 suspects, took hold of £619,000 in suspected drug money, and carried out 874 different drug seizures.

A targeted crackdown on drug-related crime led to 1,776 arrests, 678 drug seizures and 405 weapons being seized in 2022. As part of the operation, the teams also seized £772,000 from criminals and closed down a number of large scale cannabis grows.

Operation Reacher aims to identify and target those people who commit drugs-related crimes in the county, and to disrupt their activities. It involves close collaboration between the police, the local authority, health services, probation services and other criminal justice agencies, often involving the sharing of intelligence and resources.

To achieve its goals, Operation Reacher deploys various strategies, including proactive policing operations to identify and target those suspected of drug offences and to disrupt their activities. In addition, the scheme seeks to work with individuals affected by drug use, and to encourage them to access the help and support they need. This includes providing advice, assistance or referrals to local services, as well as offering support to those affected by the secondary consequences of drug dealing, such as drug-related debt.

The scheme also works to raise awareness about the harm that drug dealing can cause, and to encourage communities to take action to help reduce drug-related crime. This may include providing local people with the information, training and advice they need to address drug-related issues in their communities.

Nottinghamshire is not alone in tackling the problem of drug dealing within its borders. Many other local authorities in the UK have adopted similar strategies, such as Operation Blitz in Devon and Cornwall. However, it is clear that Operation Reacher is playing an important role in helping to keep Nottinghamshire safe and free from drug-related harm.

Photo by Nottinghamshire Police

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