Inspector Darren Taylor of Mid Sussex Police has vowed to hunt down dealers in a bid to stamp out drug-related crime in the area.
He said: “Some people say ‘oh it’s just a bit of drugs’.
“I have seen decent people turn to a life of crime because of addiction.
“Petty shoplifting, burglary, robbery, theft from vehicles just to supply their addiction.”
Drugs have a massive bearing on crime in an area, Inspector Taylor said. But the human impact can also be felt.
He added: “It has a shattering effect on families.
“The parasites that make money from selling drugs don’t give a damn about that individual or families that it has an impact on.”
Drugs have a ripple effect on a community, according to Inspector Taylor.
But he said Mid Sussex is nowhere near as bad as some other areas.
He added: “It’s a great place.
“[But] let’s not be complacent. We’re not going to stand for it in Mid Sussex.”
In the nine months since Inspector Taylor joined Mid Sussex Police, officers have carried out 15 drugs warrants – the majority of which were a result of community intelligence.
He said: “The residents and businesses are brilliant.
“The amount of intelligence we’re getting from the community – that’s credit to my team.
“Actions speak louder than words.
“We’re showing the public we’re showing the residents, we’re showing the businesses that we’re acting on the intelligence that they’re feeding us.
“They can see that we’re doing something about it.”
Inspector Taylor said he wanted to give his team and residents in Mid Sussex a massive thank you.
He added: “They have been amazing.”
Inspector Taylor also pledged to clamp down on county lines drug dealing – where criminals bring in banned substances from outside an area to sell.
He said: “County lines can be from anywhere. We have seen county lines travel from up north down to the south.
“My plan and my vision is to make sure that Mid Sussex stays the great place that it is and the safe place it is by making Mid Sussex hostile to criminals.”
‘Bully’ dealers prey on vulnerable
‘Bullying’ dealers prey on vulnerable people turning their homes into drug dens, according to police.
Inspector Taylor said ‘parasitic’ dealers hunt for vulnerable people who they can exploit for their own gain by cuckooing.
Cuckooing is a form of crime, in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base.
The crime is named for the cuckoo’s practice of taking over other birds’ nests for its young.
Inspector Taylor said: “They will look for people they can pick on.
“When it all goes wrong that poor person in that property may even lose their tenancy.”
Police are fighting back against cuckooing dealers using both enforcement and safeguarding tactics, he added.
Inspector Taylor said: “It’s preying on people’s vulnerabilities.”
He added that addicts are often pushed to sell drugs by dealers in order to fund their own as well as to pay back drug debts. Inspector Taylor said: “It’s a vicious circle. Where we can we will get them support.”
Drugs impact everyone in a community, he added.
Inspector Taylor said: “It’s a pain – an absolute pain for everybody.”
But he has said there are ‘many more warrants’ which police are working on as they crack down on drugs and related crime in Mid Sussex.