A man who was caught by police with a large amount of cannabis in his rucksack told officers he “bought in bulk because of the lockdown”.
The man was stopped by Nottinghamshire Police after being spotted on CCTV acting suspiciously with a green rucksack strapped to the front of his body.
After a “large amount” of cannabis was found inside the rucksack, the man told officers: “I’m buying in bulk because you can’t get out because of the lockdown.”
He was arrested on suspicion with intent to supply, Nottinghamshire Live report.
Inspector James Walker, who leads a team of police constables, specials, community support officers and community protection officers as part of the new Covid-19 police task force in the county, says he has heard excuses such as these all throughout the lockdown as the UK battles the coronavirus pandemic.
While the majority of crime in the area has reportedly gone down, Inspector Walker believes drug dealing is still rife – but it’s just harder to see.
He said: “Acquisitive crime has gone down because people are at home, so there is less burglary and less people on the streets to commit robberies. Shops are shut so there are less shop thefts.
“Therefore, the people who use drugs have got less money to buy them.
“I don’t think it’s stopped but we are not seeing it in its usual guise. How it has changed? It is difficult to say yet but it is still happening.”
Drugs are still a problem for Nottinghamshire Police despite the lockdown, but those addicted to harder substances such as crack cocaine and heroin don’t have the crime to commit to feed the habit.
Not long after the man with cannabis is arrested, another man is also stopped in The Meadows with spice and cannabis which he has concealed in medicine bottles.
He was interviewed under caution.
Lucy Bashforth, a community protection officer who has changed her role since the lockdown, is one of the 80 officers as part of the new Nottinghamshire Police task force covering The Meadows, St Ann’s and Clifton.
She said: “People are trying to get out as much as possible, but in The Meadows most people abide by the rules. We did have an issue with the pharmacy. People were gathering, in a panic about not getting their prescriptions.
“They were thinking ‘if in a week’s time they run out how would they get them?’ It was just about calming down the situation.
“They have two security guards there now and we have been there patrolling, which has been effective. They just want that reassurance and in a uniform we can offer that reassurance.”
With a mini 20C heatwave forecast this weekend, Britons have been urged to keep following Government lockdown guidelines.
PCSO Neil Williams is one of many officers who has been trying to persuade people to stay indoors or if they have to be out then keep two metres apart.
He said: “We look at the busy areas and then go out on foot.
“The Embankment was a bit lively when the sun was out and we know the weather is going to pick up this weekend so it is something we will keep an eye on. Everyone we have approached understood what we were saying and moved on.
“There were a lot of people sat on benches just having a five minute rest but they should not be there much longer than that. This is the quietest I have ever seen it.
“It’s a strange situation we are all in. I have never seen anything like it and hopefully I will never see anything like it again.”
As of Friday, 3,605 people in the UK have died of Covid-19, while nearly 40,000 people have contracted the virus.
In Nottinghamshire, 336 people have tested positive for coronavirus, while 36 of those have died.