Hertfordshire Constabulary has obtained the region’s first Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Order (DDTRO), which is used to shut down mobile phone numbers that are used for illegal drug dealing.
The Force is the first in the Eastern region to put the legislation, introduced in 2017, as part of the on-going fight against drug dealing and associated criminality.
The order, which came into force today (Friday, September 28), closed down a prominent drug dealing line in Watford. It means the mobile phone number is permanently disconnected and any handset ever used with the number is blacklisted so become useless.
Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips said: “We know this mobile number is used for the supply of drugs in Watford and is linked with a significant amount of drug dealing in the town.
“This is a significant step forward in the fight against drugs supply in the Watford area and has instantly cut communication between the criminals who illegally sell drugs and those who purchase them.
“We will continue to work to disrupt the supply of drugs in this area and bring those involved in dealing and the many crimes associated with this illegal activity to justice.”
As part of the action against illegal drugs in Watford, officers from the town’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, Intervention teams and Scorpion teams carried out a warrant this morning (Friday) under Section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 at two addresses in Durban Road West, which are believed to be linked to the phone line.
A quantity of suspected Class A and Class B drugs were seized, along with a number of mobile phones.
- A 20 year old man from Watford has been arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and remains in police custody at this time.
- Another man – aged 24 and from Watford – has been issued a Fixed Penalty Notice in relation to the possession of cannabis.
CI Phillips added: “We rely on local communities to be our eyes and ears and let us know what is happening on their doorsteps. If you suspect drug dealing is taking place in your neighbourhood or you’re concerned that a young person or vulnerable adult is being exploited please contact us by calling the non-emergency number 101, or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/Report.
“If you’d prefer to provide information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or submit details at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court”
If you or someone you know has a drug problem, they can get help by contacting Frank on 0800 77 66 00 or visiting www.talktofrank.com