Police ready as drug gangs look to return

GUERNSEY Police are ready to tackle organised crime drugs gangs as they seek to target the island again, head of law enforcement Ruari Hardy has said.

Ruari Hardy, head of Bailiwick Law Enforcement, holding a copy of his annual report for 2021. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31318765)
Ruari Hardy, head of Bailiwick Law Enforcement, holding a copy of his annual report for 2021. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31318765)

Drug offences dropped last year from 122 to 73, with possession being the biggest issue.

The number of seizures went up, with 255 last year compared with 151 the year before.

But the value of those drugs dropped, from £1.8m. in 2020 to just over £500,000 last year.

Mr Hardy said the report reflected the change in how drugs were being smuggled.

Previously, organised crime groups would bring large amounts of high value drugs into the island in one go.

‘As we went through the pandemic, it was not happening in the same way,’ Mr Hardy said.

‘We are seeing more smaller amounts through other means, like postal importations’

He said Bailiwick Law Enforcement had great success in detecting drugs.

But now the borders have fully reopened, drug importers were returning to their previous trends.

‘We are seeing a return to more organised criminality,’ he said.

‘And we are responding to that.’

One of the biggest drops last year included class A drug, Ecstasy.

There were five seizures in 2020, a total of 350g with a value of more than £31,000. But last year less than a gram was seized, with a value of £89.

The picture relating to cannabis has also changed.

In 2020, there were 13 seizures of cannabis resin, totalling 46kg, with a value of £1.16m.

There were 44 seizures of herbal cannabis, totalling 15kg, with a value of nearly £400,000.

There were vastly more seizures of cannabis in 2021, with 31 for cannabis resin and 110 for herbal cannabis, but that only involved 1.2kg and 3.3kg respectively.

The lower quantities resulted in a sharp drop in the value of Class B drugs seized, from £1.7m in 2020 to £334,000 last year.

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