Police crackdown on hate crime, drugs and violence

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COPS launched a street-level blitz on crime as part of their hard-hitting Operation Wolf – and admitted they are hungry to carry out more.

Joining officers on the prowl, the Evening News helped chase down a suspected drug user as part of the day of action which saw around 50 uniform and plain clothes officers flood on to the streets of Leith.

Pc David Hamilton and Pc Chris Campbell conduct high visibility patrols. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Pc David Hamilton and Pc Chris Campbell conduct high visibility patrols. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Using controversial stop-and-search powers officers clamped down on booze and drug related crime in response to concerns raised by locals.

A police spokeswoman confirmed 16 people had been charged with offences ranging from drivers using their mobile phones to stop-and-searches where officers recovered a range of drugs.

A further four people were arrested for crimes including warrant offences and drugs after three properties were searched. A total of £3000 in cash and a large quantity of controlled drugs were seized.

Twenty-eight licensed premises were visited and five people were issued with anti-social behaviour fixed penalty tickets relating to drinking

A Substantial amount of criminal intelligence was gathered which will now be progressed.

Operation Wolf is a six-week clampdown on violence, antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse, hate crime and drug dealing, that will roll around the city focusing on different problem spots. Joining officers on the beat, our reporter also got in on the action, as Pcs David Hamilton and Chris Campbell chased one man down the street after catching a “whiff” of cannabis on him. They conducted a stop-and-search where they found a “small amount” of the drug on the 23-year-old who Pc Hamilton said will now be “reported to the procurator fiscal”.

Police in Scotland currently have the right to stop and search without a warrant if they suspect someone is in possession of illegal items.

Superintendent Matt Richards, who is leading the operation, praised the success of the work which will see a total of 400 officers take part.

He said it has already seen results with six men charged with football-related disorder offences following last week’s Hibs-Hearts game.

He said the crackdown is specifically about responding “to the public feedback” they’re given. “The public have asked us to look at antisocial behaviour, violent crime, house break-ins, road safety and we’re doing that over the next five or six weeks, we will be out in different communities with local officers and national resources we’ve brought in to deal with those individuals.

“We’ve also had really good results with stop-and-search in the street, we’ve met people, spoken to them and where we’re required, we’ve searched them and recovered serious items including knives and stolen property.” Joining the officers was Forth Ward Labour councillor and community safety leader Cammy Day. He said: “People always say to us that they want to see more police officers on the streets so we are trying to enhance that.”