Peterborough paper celebrates drug jailings

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph devoted its front and back page to one story when the last drug dealer was jailed after a massive police swoop.

As part of Operation Harrier, police infiltrated Peterborough’s drug scene. At the height of the operation in September 2002, 40 officers were involved in dawn raids across the city.

There were 143 arrests, 107 people charged and 75 dealers and suppliers jailed for a total of 311 years’ jail.

The Evening Telegraph said on its front page: “Drug dealers are scum who get fat on the misery of others.

But thanks to good police work these 75 are in jail.

Between them they will serve 311 years. It is not a day too long.”

It was linked to a comment piece, which added: “For all its success, Operation Harrier has not stopped the drugs problem.

“While there is demand, there will be supply.

The challenge vital to the future of our society is to break the cycle through education to warn children of the dangers, helping addicts kick their habit and jailing the dealers. It is a challenge we must rise to”.

Evening Telegraph editor Kevin Booth said: “I took the decision to turn over the front and back of the newspaper because it has been a hugely significant story to the Peterborough public and one the Evening Telegraph has followed all the way through, from going out with the police on their dawn raids to the sentencing of dealers in the crown court.

“There is still much to do in the war on drugs in this city and this newspaper acknowledges that education must play as big a part as locking people up.”

By Jon Slattery

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