POLICE recovered three samurai swords and two machetes from the homes of alleged drug dealers during a series of raids in west Edinburgh.
Officers seized 20 grammes of heroin and ten ounces of cannabis with a combined value of £2500 after swooping on eight addresses in Dalry and Wester Hailes yesterday.
But the total value of drugs recovered rose to £4000 after 50 wraps of herbal cannabis and 120 diazepam tablets were seized at another address in Wester Hailes. Police also recovered £35,000 of cash from the same address.
Four flats in Caledonian Crescent occupied by alleged drug dealers, who were believed to be operating independently of each other, were among the properties raided.
A total of 16 people were detained during Operation Climate, eight of whom have now been charged.
A 48-year-old man and a 43-year-old man were due to appear in court today.
More than 90 officers took part in the crackdown against dealers suspected of peddling heroin, cocaine and cannabis after the force received tip-offs from members of the public.
A convoy of police vans left Fettes HQ at 7.30am yesterday and launched the raids at 8am. Three more addresses were also hit later in the day.
Detective Inspector Gordon McCreadie, who led the blitz, said: “Operation Climate was launched following our continued dialogue with communities in the west of Edinburgh, where it was made abundantly clear that they were sick and tired of drug dealers profiting from the misery of others.
“I would be keen to encourage them to continue to offer information on those involved in criminality, or those living beyond their means.
“We had many reports from the community about drug dealing in Caledonian Crescent so we’re very pleased to be able to take action in the area. If the community continues to supply information then we will be able to take further action.
“These individuals are working independently at the lower level of dealing, but it’s still drug supply which has a massive impact on neighbours.”
DI McCreadie said that three samurai swords were found at one address while two machetes were recovered from another. He added: “That makes the place safer straight away by taking these weapons off the streets. We also recovered stolen property such as bank cards which suggests these individuals are linked to acquisitive crime. It may be that people buying drugs are sometimes paying with stolen items.”
The occupant of one of the flats raided in Caledonian Crescent was not home when officers arrived. A search team examined the home, which was strewn with clothes, over- flowing ashtrays and other debris.
Many of the alleged dealers targeted were believed to be funding their own addictions.
Lord Provost Donald Wilson, whose ward includes Caledonian Crescent, said the issue of drug dealing in the street had been raised at community council meetings. He said: “I’m really pleased that the police have taken this action.”
Social media warning to officers ahead of operation
OFFICERS taking part in the operation were told to ensure the alleged dealers did not have the chance to alert fellow criminals about the raids over social media.
Detective Inspector Gordon McCreadie, who led Operation Climate, briefed the officers at Fettes HQ at 7am as the teams prepared to hit the targets.
He told the officers clad in body armour that anyone in a raided address had to be “secured immediately” and not allowed to use a phone.
The raids were staged simultaneously to stop the alleged dealers from posting warnings to others on sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
DI McCreadie told the gathering: “Make sure anyone inside doesn’t get on a phone, or they’re able to put messages on social media.”