Drugs police swoop on nine Edinburgh homes

A FRESH wave of dawn raids by police has taken the amount of drugs seized from homes across the Capital to £250,000 in six weeks.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 6:30 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:54 am
Police escort a man from a property. Pic: Andrew O'Brien

About 60 officers joined the latest swoops yesterday, hitting nine addresses and arresting three suspected dealers.

The Evening News joined teams acting on tip-offs from the public in the police drug crackdown – known as Operation Eagle.

“It’s about keeping the momentum up and assuring the public the information they provide is acted upon – and we thank them for that,” said Superintendent Lesley Clark.

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Drugs including heroin and diazepam, worth £40,000, were seized yesterday at homes in Niddrie, Gorgie and Leith.

Officers also found £4500 cash and as well as the three charged, inquiries relating to another four are ongoing.

It comes a day after we reported how Mark Richardson, 29, was jailed for six months for obstructing officers when trying to flush a mobile phone down the toilet during a raid.

It takes the value of drugs seized in Operation Eagle to £250,000 and cash to £100,000 since the beginning of last month.

Officers have charged 268 with drug offences – 41 with dealing.

“It’s a big day and part of a continued operation for the community which has seen a quarter of a million pounds worth of drugs taken off the streets – that’s a big hole to fill,” said Detective Chief Inspector Alwyn Bell.

Police launched Operation Eagle last month after public feedback highlighted drug-dealing as a major concern.

“We’re doing this because the community is telling us it’s a priority and we have a clear mandate which links to policing by consent and legitimacy,” said DCI Bell told yesterday’s early morning pre-raid briefing at Fettes.

“We’re improving the safety and wellbeing of communities. It links in with the prevention of crime, harm and disorder – it makes a big difference to communities.”

Three men, two aged 48 and a 59-year-old, were arrested and charged with drug offences at flats in Slateford Green, and Primrose Street.

A 43-year-old in Duddingston Row was charged with possession of a knife and a 32-year-old in Niddrie Mill Drive with fraud.

Tip-offs from the public form the bulk of intelligence for such raids and are “essential” is disrupting dealers, said Superintendent Clark.

Operations will continue, she assured, to send a “clear message” that dealing will not be tolerated.

“It’s about community reassurance as well,” she added. “We’ll make sure officers go around to do that.”

Two young children were at one of the flats targeted yesterday, and Superintendent Clark said it was important to use a “proportionate” response.

Officers have resources to call on during operations including dog teams and social services as needed, she added.

“We’ll look at whether it’s necessary and if there’s a better way of achieving what we want to achieve – the wellbeing of children is paramount,” said Superintendent Clark.