Police hail success of ‘Operation Shield’

GRAMPIAN Police seized drugs worth approximately £170,000 last week, as part of a sustained crackdown on serious organised crime groups.

The strategy - known as Operation Shield - saw officers from the force carrying out intensive work to monitor the North East’s roads, railways and ferry terminals.

Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Stewart said: “The figures show that Grampian Police has already made the region a hostile environment for organised crime groups to operate within and we want to ensure that continues.”

Last year, in efforts which led to 38 organised crime groups being disrupted or dismantled, Grampian Police seized controlled drugs to the street value of £2,646,371, made cash seizures to the value of £163,911 and cash productions to the value of £393,340. In the last month alone, a total of 28oz of Heroin, Cocaine and ‘Crack’ Cocaine with a street value of approximately £68,000 was recovered, with six people arrested in connection with the seizures.

The figures are the result of a significant number of drugs operations across all territorial divisions of the force by both Local Policing Teams and Major Investigation Teams.

As a result of one such investigation – Operation Charger – nine members of an English-based group were convicted of trying to bring hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of drugs into Grampian.

Detective Chief Insp Stewart added: “We are determined to protect the people of the north east from serious organised crime.

“Those involved often live outwith the area and are intent on only one thing – making money regardless of the misery they bring to communities. These people are taking great risks in an attempt to turn a profit and we will continue to track them down and bring them to justice.

“But our local communities have a crucial role in helping us beat these criminals as well.

“Experience tells us that these people often use taxis, set up short-term lease agreements with local landlords and stay in hotels or guest houses. We are keen to speak to anyone who feels they may have information about how drugs are being transported into the Grampian area or about drugs being sold within their community.

Anyone with information on organised crime can speak to police on 0845 600 5 700 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.