Police use innovative new tactics in city centre drugs operation

Police officers carried out a high visibility drugs dog operation in the city centre on Saturday night.

Inspired by colleagues from Nottinghamshire Police, the Central and North West Neighbourhood team deployed a new range of tactics for the first time, for Operation Sidewinder.

The operation saw a chain of PCs, PCSOs and Special Constables patrolling key routes through the city following a passive drugs dog. It looks striking and it is meant to, it is a high visibility way of identifying people who may be supplying or carrying drugs.

Inspector John Mallows lead the activity on Saturday: “This is a new way of working when it comes to policing our night time economy, with a particular focus on drugs. There is a known link between the use and supply of Class A drugs and violence in our bars and clubs and for this reason, we are always looking for new ways to tackle this problem.

“On Saturday night we carried out 28 stop and searches and we made four seizures of drugs including an amount of cocaine and cannabis. We also issued three cautions and made one arrest for public order offences.”

In addition to identifying and searching individuals that officers believe to in possession of or supplying drugs, the operation also aids intelligence gathering.
Key routes covered included West Street, Tudor Square, Carver Street and Sheffield Railway Station.

The Sheffield Central and North West Neighbourhood team have worked with Nottinghamshire Police over a number of months to develop Operation Sidewinder. West Yorkshire Police also assisted in the deployment, providing passive drugs dog Harley for the operation.

Inspector Mallows says the response from the public has been positive: “We have already had some great comments from the community following the operation, with people on social media welcoming such activity. This is fantastic to see and will help us develop Sidewinder going ahead.”

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