FOLLOWING the sentencing of a trio of drug dealers operating in the Bridport area, former Bridport Police Inspector Mike Darby praised the News, the public and his neighbourhood policing team for their help in catching the gang.

He said following appeals in the paper, the public had come forward in such numbers with information about the drug dealers’ activities that local officers were able to supply the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit Zephyr with enough detail to convince its officers the case was worth pursuing.

He said: “The local neighbourhood policing team really stepped up.

“Ultimately we would never have got this far if it wasn’t for the public on a daily basis contacting us telling us what they were seeing which allowed us to put together the bigger picture of what the gangs were doing, their associates, who was buying drugs, who was being targeted by them as being vulnerable.”

He added: “It was after the Brasier gang were arrested and charged and in prison we first saw Londoners coming to Bridport.

“That left a void in Bridport and very soon afterwards we started noticing young London drug dealers trying to take over the trade.

“This started a trend which is now happening all across the South West of gangs from London, Liverpool and other northern cities trying to take over the trade.

“Kadeem Abbrey was the first young Londoner to really come to our notice in Bridport.

“We got lots of intelligence about him using locals who were already addicts to help him supply the drugs.

“He was bringing people from London and putting them into addresses of vulnerable drug addicts and starting ‘cuckooing’, using them as safe houses but also using them do couriering and do the deals.

“We put out numerous appeals in the News to the public.

“The drug dealing was plainly obvious and it was all that help we got from the public which allowed the Bridport police to mount an operation to target Abbrey.”

He said it was the volume and quality of the information from the public and local officers which convinced the regional crime squad to mount its covert operation that led to the arrest of Abbrey in Litton Cheney.