Six arrested and heroin seized in police crackdown

Operation Austingberg is to crack down on drug crime and antisocial behaviour. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Operation Austingberg is to crack down on drug crime and antisocial behaviour. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Six people have been arrested as part of a police clampdown on drug crime and antisocial behaviour.

The drive – dubbed Operation Austinburg – saw £200-worth of heroin seized and a knife confiscated after officers took to the streets of the city’s Southside on Wednesday.

Police swooped on two properties on Nicolson Street and targeted areas where drug abuse had been reported, as well as carrying out patrols around Edinburgh University’s campus.

As a result of their efforts, a 27-year-old man and 35-year-old woman were detained in connection with drug dealing – with the pair later arrested on outstanding warrants.

A 41-year-old man was also arrested for possession of a knife following a stop-and-search by officers in Clerk Street, while a 20-year-old man was charged with housebreaking after being spotted in the act.

Elsewhere, another man, 41, was arrested after snatching items from a motorcycle on Nicolson Street and a 31-year-old man was collared by officers after stealing from a hotel on Dalkeith Road.

Police worked with council environment wardens and Edinburgh University security officers to carry out their patrols – which included stair checks and clean-ups to deter drug use – as well as staff from Castlerock Edinvar Housing Association.

The crackdown came as Edinburgh’s dedicated housebreaking officers charged a 20-year-old man in connection with 16 break-ins at homes in Canongate, Holyrood Road, Guthrie Street, Montgomery Street and Campbell’s Close earlier this month.

Chief Inspector Mark Rennie, area commander for South Edinburgh, said: “The co-ordinated work we carried out yesterday was in direct response to concerns raised by residents.

“If we get information, we will act upon it and I’d encourage local people to continue to call in if they have information regarding local dealers.

“By working together with partners we were able to have maximum impact and gather information and intelligence which will lead to further direct action against those involved in drug dealing.

“Operation Austinburg will continue throughout the summer and local people will continue to see the commitment of local agencies to tackle drug misuse in the area.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com