POLICE today staged a string of raids against heroin and cocaine dealers in the west of Edinburgh.
More than 80 officers took part in swoops on eight addresses in the Gorgie, Dalry and Wester Hailes areas of the city, which were carried out simultaneously at 8am.
Fourteen dealers were targeted as part of Operation Climate, which followed months of surveillance work and intelligence gathering by drugs squad officers.
Teams of officers wearing body armour and helmets smashed in doors with a battering ram after a convoy of police vehicles left Fettes HQ at 7.30am. Sniffer dogs with their handlers were also deployed to conduct searches on the homes.
The dealers, who are not part of the same gang, were identified following tip-offs from members of the public concerned about Class A drugs being sold in their area.
Detectives hope to disrupt the supply of drugs in the blitz, and have appealed to residents to give them more names of dealers to pursue.
Detective Inspector Gordon McCreadie, who led today’s operation, said: “We received information from the community in relation to drugs supply. There has since been a long period of intelligence gathering by officers to secure the eight warrants against these addresses.
“But this is not about the amount of drugs we seize today. This is about breaking up a network of drug dealers who are blighting the areas where they live.
“We are listening to the community, and Operation Climate comes on the back of information provided by them. We would encourage all residents to report anyone involved in drug supply or associated antisocial behaviour.
“These drug suppliers have had a massive impact on the community. We want people to stand up to them by contacting us on 0131-311 8737 or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
DI McCreadie said that the raids were “not in response to any particular catalyst” apart from intelligence provided by neighbours of the dealers.
He added that the raids would be followed by the distribution of leaflets in the communities urging residents to identify other criminals involved in the drug trade.
The dealers themselves will also be given access to drug support services as some are believed to be involved in selling heroin and cocaine to fund their own addictions.
Today’s raids form part of the force’s Made From Crime? campaign, which was launched last year with the aim of identifying those making cash illegally through crime.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, anyone unable to show exactly how they were able to pay for expensive goods could be pursued by the Civil Recovery Unit even if they are not convicted of a crime.