Recorded drug offences rose last year in Exmouth because police targeted known offenders and dealers.
Police working closely with the community in Exmouth has given residents the confidence to come forward and report suspicious behaviour to officers.
Inspector Antonia Weeks, at Exmouth police station, said the successful police work had been intelligence-led.
She said information passed to police had been instrumental in warrants being executed at properties in the town.
Inspector Weeks said officers had been able to act on the given information – such as high numbers of visitors coming and going at addresses.
She said Exmouth residents were best placed to identify something that stood out in their neighbourhood that could help police investigate.
Insp Weeks said: “We do need people to come forward and tell us. People know their own streets and neighbourhoods and if something feels wrong, it probably is wrong.
“Where people have been coming and going at an address; drug dealing. We have been able to do something about that.”
Exmouth police said their aim was to ‘minimise the problem’ of drugs and drug dealing in the town, and early detection would ‘nip it in the bud’.
Insp Weeks said information reported to police by the public meant recorded drug offences in Exmouth had increased in 2019, reflecting the work officers have done in targeting known offenders and dealers.
She said: “We want to make Exmouth a hostile place for drug dealers and county lines to operate by actually targeting known dealers.
“Our primary focus is to protect vulnerable people being exploited by drugs and drug dealing.
“There will always be an element of drugs and dealing drugs, but where we know that vulnerable people are being exploited, we can do something about that.”
Devon and Cornwall Police said county lines is where urban gangs exploit children and vulnerable adults so they can move, and store, drugs and money.
The gangs, who supply Class A drugs, such as Heroin or crack cocaine, operate via mobile phones and often use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons as a way of control .
- For more information on how to help Devon and Cornwall Police tackle drug crime, see here
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