Police Scotland rely on intel from locals to take down drug dealers
People informing on local drug dealers is hitting crooks in the pocket, it has been revealed.
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West Lothian’s community sergeants have detailed arrests and disruption of cannabis farms in the county – including one farm worth an estimated £86,000.
One officer told councillors that these operations only succeed with intelligence passed on by communities.
Sergeant Iain Wells said that in the first quarter of the year ( April to June) 39 Misuse of Drugs Warrants were obtained, with 35 Supply and Cultivation offences charged in West Lothian.
Tip-offs included information on a “a sophisticated cannabis cultivation with an approximate value in excess of £86,000.
Sgt Wells said: “After investigation two people have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal for related offences
“We continue to develop drugs intelligence from the local community. Drugs enforcement requires information from sources to build a picture and fill in the pieces of the jigsaw and the use of community intelligence in this cannot be underestimated. We need to know what is going on,” he said.
Comparing the figures for Drugs Supply, Production and Cultivation charges over five years there has been a 27 per cent drop.
Speaking to this month’s Services for the Community PDSP the area police commander, Chief Inspector Alun Williams, also highlighted the work undertaken to disrupt the links between the drug trade and serious and organised crime.
He too reiterated the need for the public to contact police about drug concerns.
In his report he said: “Drugs supply has a close link to organised crime groups , and is a blight on any community. We act to target those who bring harm to our communities, and particularly those who are involved in drug supply, cultivation/production and Class A drugs. “
CI Williams added: “We recognise the national Drugs Deaths statistics and are committed to targeting drug dealers, whilst working in partnership within the WL Alcohol and Drugs Partnership.
“Officers will develop lines of investigation and other policing approaches are available, but as ever, we encourage and rely upon community intelligence, and encourage reporting direct to police by phone, on-line, in person, via remote reporting sites and / or anonymously through Crimestoppers (0800 555111).”