Plain clothes police storm Torbay to disrupt drugs and antisocial behaviour

Police officers, who were wearing civilian clothes, carried out foot and vehicle patrols throughout the streets of Paignton and Torquay, using unique tactics to identify individuals suspected of committing crime.

Plain clothes police officers were recently deployed in Torbay to pursue people suspected of dealing or taking drugs, identifying individuals who were wanted for arrest, and targeting antisocial behaviour including street drinking.

Police officers, who were wearing civilian clothes, carried out foot and vehicle patrols throughout the streets of Paignton and Torquay, using unique tactics to identify individuals suspected of committing crime.

The two-day period of action which took place in May, resulted in a number of arrests, including two for shoplifting, one for immigration offences and another arrest on the suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs. Investigations are ongoing. Spice, cannabis and prescription only medication methadone were also seized and destroyed following stop searches.

Inspector Chris Lithgow, who heads up the neighbourhood policing team in Torquay said: “We’re listening to what our communities are saying and reporting to us, which is why we’re taking strong action to tackle drug dealing, drug taking and antisocial behaviour across Torbay. These positive results demonstrate some of the robust activity we are taking to make our communities safer.

“We understand that more needs to be done to prevent crimes like these from reoccurring and that deploying plain clothes police officers is just one piece of the puzzle to target these offenders. To address this, we’re working closely with our partner agencies to look at the longer-term issues to understand why these crimes are happening in the first place.”

Inspector Pete Giesens, who leads neighbourhood police in Paignton, said: “This isn’t a one off and plain clothes patrols will continue to run across different locations and times of day across the bay.

“We’re lucky to have such a skilled Protect and Disrupt police team, who are the officers leading these plain clothes patrols. They have a wealth of tactics to target criminals, which means no two patrols will run in the same way and their proactive work will continue to have far-reaching impact on our communities; making our streets safer.”

Sergeant Greg Bustin, who heads up the Protect and Disrupt team, said: “We run these plain clothes operations day in and day out across Devon and Cornwall. This type of police activity is really effective as people aren’t aware that we’re police officers, which gives us a unique angle to identify offenders and take action to disrupt criminal activity without them being alerted to our presence.

“Your reports provide us with invaluable information about where and when crimes are taking place. Please continue to report any intelligence you have, no matter how small, on our website or by calling 101. By doing this, we can make sure that we conduct plain clothes patrols in the right places and at the right times to make sure we target offenders and make our streets safer.”

Information can also be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111, or via their website.

Police teams in Torquay and Paignton regularly post updates about the work they are doing to protect local communities, connect with the public and reduce crime within the area on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Follow them on social media @TorquayPolice / @PaigntonPolice.

Alternatively, you can sign up to Devon & Cornwall Alert  to stay up to date with the latest information directly from police teams in your area.

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