Police hail success of drugs operation

A GRAMPIAN Police operation Hotspur designed to tackle drug misuse in the north-east has resulted in 60 people being arrested, 39 people being referred to community support services and the seizure of over £15,000 worth of drugs.

Operation Hotspur, which combined law enforcement with offering support to those with drug issues, saw the police team up with Aberdeenshire Council’s Community Substance Misuse team and Turning Point Scotland, as well as NHS Grampian and the Scottish Prison Service.

Since November 2011, teams have executed 66 drugs search warrants across the North East, resulting in 60 people being reported to the Procurator Fiscal for offences related to drugs, child protection and theft. A further 39 referrals have been made to Aberdeenshire Council’s Community Substance Misuse Team.

Deputy Divisional Commander for Aberdeenshire Division, Superintendent John Cummings, said that the operation was an example of what could be achieved by partner agencies working together.

“Through close partnership, we have been able to offer a lifeline to individuals who are struggling with drug misuse”, he said.

“While enforcement is an important part of Operation Hotspur, an equally important issue for us is creating a framework where we can contribute effectively to the ‘recovery agenda’ by actively highlighting pathways towards services who can assist in that recovery journey.

“It is extremely encouraging to see that 39 people have taken up that offer and have a positive opportunity to begin the recovery process.

“Operation Hotspur should send a strong message that we will continue to disrupt, detect and deter drug supply through focussed enforcement while also helping to address the wider impacts on our communities”.

Ritchie Johnston, Aberdeenshire Council’s director of housing and social work, said a joined-up approach by key agencies, was the most effective and long-lasting way to break the cycle of drug misuse. “I hope this approach is one which continues to provide the great results we have seen throughout Operation Hotspur”, he said.