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Drugs seized and arrests made after major police crackdown in Caithness


By David G Scott

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A campaign to tackle a range of crime and policing priorities has kicked off in the Caithness area.

On Friday (December 4) Operation Ruling was launched to address a number of issues that have been affecting the Caithness communities for some time.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said the purpose of the operation is to "improve public confidence in policing and enhance engagement" between the public and the local policing team.

A special squad of officers approach the suspect's house in Thurso.
A special squad of officers approach the suspect's house in Thurso.

A range of resources from Highlands and Islands Division, as well as officers based within Caithness, are being deployed throughout the operation.

Between Friday and Sunday, a total of seven drugs warrants were executed in Thurso and Wick, following "vital intelligence received from residents".

Within Thurso, properties in Claredon Place, Strathy House, Albyn Court and St Peters Road were searched along with a vessel in the harbour.

A battering ram is used to smash through the door.
A battering ram is used to smash through the door.

Two other addresses in Leishman Avenue and Osborne Close (Wick) were also subjected to enforcement activity.

As a result, quantities of cannabis, LSD and cocaine were seized.

In addition, medication such as Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Naproxen, Oxycodone and Diazepam were also recovered along with various white powders, which have been sent for analysis.

Officers are now following positive lines of inquiry in relation to these seizures.

Recent engagement with the local community also identified road safety as a priority for the region and this was highlighted again over the weekend following a fatal collision on the A99 at Burrigill, between Wick and Latheron, on Saturday December 5.

This incident resulted in a 61-year-old male driver being taken to hospital, where he sadly passed away later.

The squad rush in after the door has been breached.
The squad rush in after the door has been breached.

In response, road policing resources deployed as part of Operation Ruling carried out vehicle stops on the Caithness road network to identify motoring offences and check the roadworthiness of any vehicles stopped.

This activity resulted in two drivers being charged for driving without a licence or while disqualified and another was found to be driving with a valid MOT and an expired photo-card licence. They were given appropriate advice.

A third motorist was charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop and drink driving "after excellent work" by local officers.

The suspect is apprehended within.
The suspect is apprehended within.

Operation Ruling also aims to target violent offenders and a 32-year-old woman has been charged following the serious assault of a 42-year-old man that took place in Osborne Close, Wick, on Sunday (December 6).

A man was also charged following the assault of three nurses at Caithness General Hospital.

Chief inspector Jamie Wilson, local area commander for Caithness, said: "We want to make it clear to our communities in Caithness that your wellbeing is important and the policing priorities you identify to us will be actioned.

"Operation Ruling is now well underway to tackle the crimes adversely affecting the region and bring those responsible to justice.

"At the same time, we want this campaign to build confidence in local policing and ensure that residents feel empowered to come forward with more information that can lead to further proactive activity.

The tools of the trade for smashing through doors.
The tools of the trade for smashing through doors.

"I appreciate that Caithness has experienced some significant challenges in the recent months and years, but we want all communities to feel pride in the region and have pride in their local policing team.

"In addition to enforcement activity, we've stationed our mobile police pod around Caithness to enhance our visibility and inform the public about what we've been doing to make the area safer.

"I would like to thank all of the officers involved in Operation Ruling for their assistance, and of course, our communities for their support of what we're trying to achieve."

Woman accused of stabbing man in Wick incident



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