Four arrested in blitz on organised crime suspects

Lothian and Borders Police raid a house in Whitburn. Picture Neil Hanna

Lothian and Borders Police raid a house in Whitburn. Picture Neil Hanna

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Dawn raids have been carried out by dozens of police officers in a bid to target suspected organised crime.

Officers visited a number of addresses in West Lothian early this morning as part of Operation Focus, an ongoing partnership initiative that aims to improve the quality of life for people in the county.

Following the raids by officers investigating the activities of suspected serious and organised criminals operating in the county, four people were
arrested and searches of premises are ongoing.

The raids came as part of an intelligence-led inquiry carried out by Lothian and Borders Police, which had
already led to the seizure of approximately £1.5 million worth of drugs and £82,000 in cash.

Ten people had been arrested as part of the inquiry, and one man sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to drugs offences.

Chief Superintendent Jeanette McDiarmid, divisional commander, said: “These raids demonstrate our commitment to tackling the scourge of drugs and bringing offenders to justice.”

Following the raids, police were today set to visit local secondary schools to deliver an anti-drugs message to pupils, while staff from West
Lothian Council were set to carry out a community clean-up in the areas affected.

Police were also set to mount high-visibility patrols in the area throughout the day, encouraging anyone
concerned about drug dealing or criminal activity to come forward.

Chief Supt McDiarmid added: “Rest assured that any information received will be acted on, and treated in the strictest confidence.”

West Lothian Council leader John McGinty commented: “Drugs and drug dealing has a negative impact on people and communities.

“Operation Focus sends out a strong message that this activity will not be tolerated in West Lothian.

“Following police raids council staff will be active 
in the areas involved to carry out community clean-ups and
remove graffiti. Schools 
are also being proactive in getting out the anti-drugs message.”

Mr McGinty added: “Police officers will speak to pupils in our secondary schools, with school nurses and teachers also supporting the health messages about the harmful effects that drug use has on health, families and communities.”

Graham Hope, chief executive of West Lothian Council, added: “Operation Focus is a great example of how working closely with Community Planning Partners benefits West Lothian.

“I would encourage anyone with information about drug activity in their area to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”