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Police 'day of action' targets drug gangs


By David G Scott

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A NATIONAL County Lines day of action by Police Scotland – that included officers in Caithness – targeted drug dealers and saw 38 people safeguarded and two people arrested yesterday (Wednesday, September 16).

County Lines is when dealers exploit vulnerable people, including children and young adults, by expanding drug selling operations from large cities to smaller towns.

Police Scotland day of action targets County Lines drug dealers. Picture: DGS
Police Scotland day of action targets County Lines drug dealers. Picture: DGS

Proactive action by officers resulted in vulnerable people being identified, ‘cuckooing’ addresses visited, a number drugs search warrants executed and people being arrested on Wednesday.

A large quantity of controlled drugs, including heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis were seized. Tens of thousands of pounds in cash and weapons, including a Samurai sword, were also recovered.

Local officers, special constables and national resources, including road policing and dog unit officers, as well as British Transport Police, took part in the activity throughout the day.

Dealers will exploit young and vulnerable people to sell drugs, carry cash and weapons, using violence, coercion and abuse. They may also take over a vulnerable person’s house – known as "cuckooing".

British Transport Police were involved in the operation. Picture: Gary Anthony.
British Transport Police were involved in the operation. Picture: Gary Anthony.

Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable Angela McLaren said: "County Line gangs groom and exploit the most vulnerable people in our communities including children and young people to store and sell drugs.

"These gangs are not welcome in Scotland. Our officers remain absolutely committed to working with our partners in the SOC Taskforce to safeguard individuals who may be at risk and to pursue offenders.

"Together we will continue to make Scotland a hostile environment to those who seek to engage in criminal activity. The positive results during the day of action are an example of this work which will continue in support of the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy.

“I would urge anyone with concerns to report them to Police Scotland or alternatively to Crimestoppers anonymously.”

In the north east, 38 people were safeguarded, seven warrants were executed and two people were arrested. Drugs, with a street value of £5500 as well as £9000 in cash and a knife were recovered.

Organised Crime officers arrested a man from Liverpool near Stirling as part of an intelligence-led operation and almost £35,000 in cash was seized. Elsewhere in Forth Valley, officers also safeguarded six people, executed a warrant, arrested one person and seized an additional three-figure sum of cash.

Piper, a drugs detection dog, on duty.
Piper, a drugs detection dog, on duty.

Tayside officers seized drugs, believed to be heroin, crack cocaine, cannabis and a quantity of pills with a street value of £6000 after warrants were executed warrants at three addresses in Dundee. A quantity of cash and a sword were also seized.

In Edinburgh, 11 people were safeguarded and officers executed four warrants. Two people were arrested and £1500 of drugs and over £2000 in cash was seized.

Thirteen people were safeguarded in the Lothians and Scottish Borders. One person was arrested and £2000 in cash was seized.

Seven people were safeguarded, four warrants were executed and six people were arrested in the Highlands and Islands. Over £14,000 of drugs and approximately £5600 in cash was seized.

In Fife, eight people were safeguarded, four warrants were executed and four people were arrested. £4000 worth of drugs was seized as well as a number of offensive weapons.

Ayrshire officers executed five warrants and arrested four people. They also seized £5500 worth of drugs and seized nearly £10,000 in cash.

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