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Police take nearly £1million worth of drugs off the streets in past 18 months

November 28, 2012, 1:38 pm

Northern Constabulary has taken nearly £1million worth of illegal drugs off the streets of the Highlands and Islands in the past 18 months.

From the beginning of April 2011 until the end of October this year officers have seized drugs which are estimated to be worth £918,000.

During the month of November alone Northern Constabulary seized approximately £60,000 worth of heroin from the streets of Inverness.

The past 18 months have also seen police seize £134,000 worth of cash in connection with criminal cases and under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation.

In the period between April 2011 and March this year there were a total of 2290 individual controlled drugs seizures made across the Highlands and Islands, 66% of these involved Class B drugs.

Cannabis was the most commonly seized drug, accounting for 55% of seizures. Other drugs seized in the Highlands and Islands consisted of diazepam, cocaine, amphetamine, diamorphine (heroin) and ecstasy.

During 2011/12 both the number of supply and possession charges increased compared to the previous year, highlighting an increase in police pro-activity.

The figures for possession in 2010/11 were 1534 compared to 1760 in 2011/12. The figure for the supply of drugs in 2010/11 was 298, compared to 465 in 2011/12.

Head of Crime Services, Detective Superintendent Kenny Anderson, said: “We have enjoyed a successful 18 months in terms of the seizure of illegal drugs, cash and arrest of significant criminals.

“However, we are never complacent and we will continue to work as hard as ever to drive drugs and drug dealers out of our communities. Drugs and serious and organised crime is one of the main priorities for Northern Constabulary.

“The public have supported this work during the past 18 months and we would urge people to continue to provide us with information which may lead to the arrest and conviction of others involved in this destructive trade.”

Over the past 18 months Northern Constabulary has run a number of operations to combat illegal drugs in the Highlands and Islands.

Operation Ram

During early October 2012 a week long enforcement initiative took place across the Force in respect of the supply of illegal drugs. The activity resulted in 43 warrant executions, 188 people searched and ten vehicles searched. As a result a total of 44 people were reported to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to drugs offences and over £11,000 of drugs were seized.

Organised Crime Groups involved in the supply of controlled drugs

The Force continues to focus resources on disrupting criminal networks who are supplying drugs to our communities. During 2011/12 Northern Constabulary carried out a number of targeted operations against serious and organised crime groups and as a result over £275,000 worth of drugs were seized and a number of significant criminals were imprisoned.

Operation Announce

In December 2011 Northern Constabulary launched Operation Announce which focused on an organised crime group which was supplying Class A and B drugs across the Force area. This activity led to two successful enforcement days on 5 and 13 March 2012. Four people were arrested and £40,000 worth of drugs was seized.

Operation Aim

Operation Aim related to another initiative which focused on an organised crime group supplying drugs across the Highlands and Islands. A successful enforcement day in August 2011 resulted in eight people being arrested for offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the recovery of £80,000 worth of drugs.

Operation Attire

In June 2012 police undertook more drugs enforcement activity with Operation Attire which resulted in the arrest of seven people for drugs related offences and the seizure of £40,000 worth of heroin.

Operation Albatross

In October 2009 Northern Constabulary launched Operation Albatross, which related to the drug dealing activities of a Highlands and Islands based organised crime group which was supplying communities in Northern, Grampian and Strathclyde Police force areas.

This activity led to a successful enforcement day in September 2011. Fifteen people were arrested and reported for offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, threats and extortion and money laundering. £100,000 worth of drugs was recovered, including amphetamine, cocaine, BZP tablets and cannabis.

The principal subject, Scott Ross, was sentenced to 43 months in prison, his co-accused, Robin Sutherland got 11 months for cannabis dealing and a third accused, Jason MacWilliams was sentenced to 38 months for dealing cocaine.

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