No hiding place for drugs offenders as purge producing results

POLICE IN MORAY are reporting a major increase in arrests for drug offences in the region – the result of a major increase in their activities that will continue into next year.

In his report to the Police and Fire and Rescue Services Committee on Thursday, Chief Inspector Campbell Thomson reveals a 66.5% increase in arrest for drug supply offences in Moray.

That has been joined by a 57.1% increase in drug possession arrests, while the cash value of drugs seizure went up by 27.5%. The report adds that the proactive nature of the force activity between April and June under Operation Aspen saw 34 search warrants acted upon in Elgin, Buckie, Keith, Cullen, Forres, Lossiemouth and Burghead.

The Chief Inspector said of drugs recovered as a result: “This equates to 207grams of Diamorphine with a potential value of £20,180, 40grams of Cocaine with a potential value of £1300 and almost five kilograms of Cannabis with a potential revenue value of £17,605.

“These recoveries have seen 16 persons being reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for drug supply offences. We, along with partners, will continue to robustly target the Serious Organised Crime Groups who prey on the most vulnerable in our communities to make Moray a hostile environment for them to operate.”

On other issues the report indicates a 54.4% fall in reported mobile phone offences for the period to June 31 – possibly prompting recently reported activity in that area with 27 motorists caught at the wheel while using a mobile phone over a two-day period earlier this month.

Those caught for speeding offences were also down by 34.2% – but instances of dangerous driving rose by 62.8% and for driving while disqualified by 218.2%.

Chief Inspector Thomson will tell councillors: “During the reporting period, proactive work has been carried out across Moray by Community Policing Team Officers and Specialist Road Policing Officers.

“In response to community concerns and analytical data you will have seen Officers carry out speed enforcement work in Lossiemouth, Lhanbryde, Hopeman, Elgin, Forres, Buckie and Keith.

“We have also targeted antisocial drivers in our Town Centres including Elgin, Keith and Forres. During the reporting period we have reported 48 offences in Elgin alone, linked to Antisocial Driving.”

The full report can be downloaded from the Moray Council website.