Drugs worth more than £1.1M removed from Lanarkshire streets
Lanarkshire Division is committed to targeting drug misuse and reduce the devastation it can bring to families and communities, Chief Inspector Gillian Norrie focused resources to tackle this issue. As a result, drugs in excess of £1,000,000 have been removed from our streets and more than £100,000 of cash has been seized.
Since January 2021, officers from the local area’s, Drugs, Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit (DAVRU), led by Sergeant Stewart Masson, committed to intelligence gathering and enforcement action resulting in seizures of illegal drugs worth an estimated street value of more than £1.1million.
The involved the areas of Viewpark, Motherwell, Bellshill, Shotts and Wishaw.
Chief Inspector Norrie said:
"As part of my commitment to address ongoing drug related issues, I asked Sergeant Masson to carry out work, aimed at drug misuse, which would result in a positive outcome for our local communities.
“This involved targeting those selling drugs and dealing from various locations in our communities. Much of our interventions were based on gathering good intelligence and acting on information received.
“I have been keen to utilise prevention tactics to affect this behaviour as it is an important part of daily policing. A significant amount of energy goes into understanding crime trends, which are detailed on policing plans, that way, I can be sure we have suitable officers deployed where we need the most, in the areas of most public concern.
“Prevention and enforcement tactics have been taken recently in the Craigneuk and Forgewood areas where officers were deployed daily, providing public reassurance. We were available to respond to drug misuse and other policing matters in the right places and at the right times.
“So far this year, my officers have acted on information and have proactively discovered drug related offending resulting in 34 offenders being charged in connection with the supply of controlled drugs. We have also forced entry to properties, under warrant, across the area and made arrests resulting in offenders being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
"Another way of targeting this issue is to seize the money criminals make. We know organised criminals benefit from preying on our more vulnerable members of our communities, they are only interested in profit. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), we have seized more than £100,000 of cash.
“We will continue to work with the local authority, North Lanarkshire Council in addressing these concerns. Impact does not always mean enforcement, we share information with our partners which means those conducting themselves in a criminal manner could find themselves losing their homes or being issued with antisocial behaviour orders.
“We welcome, indeed, we rely, on information from the public to help us tackling drug misuse and offences. I’d urge anyone with concerns about drugs in their area to call us on 101. You can also pass on information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, or when you see a crime in progress, always call 999.”
Sergeant Stewart Masson from the DAVRU said:
"The effort my team has placed on making an impact on drug misuse this year has been outstanding. Team members are enthusiastic and eager to make sure they are in communities and are listening to what's going on.
“By being a part of the local communities, we are able to build trust and confidence with the people who live there. This in turn assists us to develop and progress information on people selling drugs, resulting in action being taken and people being arrested.
“We are targeting all areas, from people holding drugs for others, to those selling them and to those higher up the chain who are making money from people’s misery.
“I would like to assure the public that we will continue to act on their concerns. We will be out there, in plain-clothes and uniform, determined to achieve a positive outcome for our communities.”