ORGANISED DRUG GANGS travelling north from England and peddling drugs in towns and villages throughout Aberdeenshire and Moray are a threat to community safety.
The flow of drugs from the south has been highlighted by Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson, who said that in just eight months his detectives in Aberdeenshire and Moray have clawed back over £2.7million from organised criminals.
A series of raids on homes in Elgin, Peterhead and Fraserburgh has seen the number of drug-related arrests increase dramatically, with the chief superintendent pointing to gangs from south of the border as the main threat to safety for local communities.
“Let’s make no bones about it, there are some very real challenges,” CS Thomson said, adding: “English-based crime groups are operating in our area – they are interested only in themselves, in money and in preying on vulnerable individuals.”
Figures published by Police Scotland reveal that between April and December last year there was a significant increase in the number of drug dealers caught – 138, up from 89 in the previous year.
A new anti-drug campaign, Operation Banook, was launched in October.