A summer crackdown on anti-social behaviour in East Devon has already led to several arrests for drug crimes and motoring offences.

‘Operation Loki’ began on Thursday, July 27 with officers in Seaton and nearby villages targeting dangerous and ‘boy racer’ driving, about which there have been many complaints from residents. Several vehicles were checked with the help of Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems and three people were also stopped and dealt with for drugs possession. 

On Friday, July 28, police were joined by representatives from Sidmouth Town Council, Gateway Homelessness Action Group, East Devon District Council Community Safety Partnership and other departments including roads policing.

Two vehicles were seized for having no tax, seven motorists were reported for vehicle and document defects and several were stopped for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, resulting in two arrests. Foot patrols took place in areas of anti-social behaviour and at least 30 motorists were caught speeding through Sidford.

On Saturday, July 29, patrols were stepped up in Honiton and a specialist undercover team arrested a motorist for driving whilst being unfit through drugs, having no insurance and being in possession of a class B drug. Enquiries found they were also a disqualified driver.

On Sunday, July 30, police in Axminster searched a motorist and their vehicle which led to cocaine, cannabis, money and phones being seized. An arrest was made for drug driving, possession with intent and possession of an offensive weapon. The car was seized. Another vehicle was seized after it was discovered the driver had an expired driving licence.

Operation Loki will start in Exmouth and mid Devon later this month, and continue throughout the summer. 

Inspector Phil Gray, Sector Inspector for Rural East Devon, said the initiative is not only about detecting crime, but also helping vulnerable people. It involves youth intervention officers, homeless outreach staff and other relevant organisations.

He said: “We work with partners to make sure that we reach those people in vulnerable groups who may need extra support. We like to engage with as many people as possible of all ages and get feedback on how we can help with any local concerns or priorities. We want to keep our communities safe, disrupt incidents of anti-social behaviour and make arrests where appropriate. If you see the officers out and about please come and say ‘hello’ and let us know how we can help you.”