Community police to change tactics as war is declared on dealers in death

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Community police officers will use “non-traditional tactics” to rid the area of drugs.

With the formation of the Police Service of Scotland only months away, the move towards local constables using measures to gather information normally associated with the drug squad was revealed at a meeting of Central Scotland Joint Police Board last week.

While discussing the force performance report, the board heard there had been 15 suspected drug-related deaths in the Central Scotland Police area – including five deaths in just five days – since April.

It was stated there was no specific reason, such as a particular batch of lethal drugs, for the deaths occurring over such a short space of time.

Chief Constable Derek Penman said: “We still had 15 drug deaths, so we know there are still drugs in our area. It can be an indication drugs are more difficult to come by and the drugs being used are being mixed, making them more dangerous.”

The Chief Constable would not be drawn in public on what exact tactics would be employed by officers, telling board members he would give them more details after the meeting.

Force-wide statistics showed there had been 237 housebreakings since April – a rate of one per day.

The report also stated there were 13 road traffic deaths so far this year, but there was no set pattern or single dangerous location which was leading to the fatalities.