Saturday, January 31, 2004

Police close 'drugs den'

A suspected Nottinghamshire drugs den has been boarded up under new police powers to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Magistrates have been given powers to order evictions and have houses boarded up straight away, instead of waiting months to gather evidence.

A house on the Ravensdale Estate in Mansfield was raided this week.

Neighbours had complained about hypodermic needles in their garden and about being kept awake by people arguing and shouting.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Blunkett: Hard or soft on drugs?

Seldom has Home Secretary David Blunkett appeared more ill an ease, almost apologetic, than over his policy on cannabis.

The minister, who usually revels in his hard man image, is having to justify his decision to downgrade dope to a class C drug. And he patently does not enjoy it.

He has confessed that, unlike some of his tougher policies, he "agonised" over this one.

He has even had to launch an expensive advertising campaign to warn people that, despite the re-classification, cannabis is still illegal and potentially dangerous.

And, speaking on the Today programme, he insisted that if he smelled youngsters smoking cannabis in public he would turn them in to the police.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Five charged after drugs swoop

Five people have been charged with drugs offences after police in Bristol took part in an operation to smash an international smuggling ring.

Three women, aged 19, 23 and 37, a 42-year-old man from Bristol, and a 28-year-old Jamaican man are all due to appear before magistrates in the city on Monday charged with conspiring to import class A drugs.

They were arrested on Friday after search warrants were executed at addresses in Bristol and a substantial amount of heroin, crack cocaine and ammunition was found.

Three other men, arrested on Friday and Saturday, have been released on bail pending further inquiries.