Police in Forth Valley launch public priority operation

Chief Superintendent John Hawkins launched Operation Core in Forth Valley division''Picture: Alistair Pryde
Chief Superintendent John Hawkins launched Operation Core in Forth Valley division''Picture: Alistair Pryde

Tackling drugs, violence and road safety will be the priorities for a new four-month police operation in Forth Valley.

If follows these issues being identified by the public as areas of concern.

Officers from the local division consulted with local authorities, community councils, residents and groups.

Launching Operation Core today, Chief Superintendent John Hawkins said: “Across Falkirk, and the rest of the division, you’ve told us you’re most concerned about drugs, violence and road safety. We’ve prioritised these issues, and to further support our efforts to date we’re launching Operation Core. I wanted to take this opportunity with the Falkirk Herald to explain how we’re tackling drug supply, violence and road safety in your area.

“We see the terrible impact that drugs, whether illegal or so-called ‘legal highs’ – have on our communities every day. All too often they ruin lives and can ruin communities too if left unchecked.

“The information that we receive from the public comes in daily and is vital to help us build up a picture of drug supply and the wider, related issues. By speaking out, communities are standing up to drug dealers and helping us to cut that supply and allow those caught up in drug misuse a way out.”

He said that in the last five months, due to information received from communities, 104 drugs warrants were executed across the area command, which equates to over four per week this year so far. As a result, officers recovered over £21,000 worth of cannabis in the form of cultivations, as well as thousands of pounds worth of Class A drugs.

The police chief added: “Since April 2015 there have been nearly 1000 reported violent incidents in Falkirk which have resulted in injury or serious injury. Violence in any form is unacceptable. Whether it’s behind closed doors or in the street, Operation Core will tackle it by arresting those intent on violence and providing specialist support to victims.”

Last year six people died as a result of road collisions in the Falkirk area, with 42 seriously injured and 191 injured.

The chief superintendent said: “Speed limits are in place for the safety of all road users. It’s not just unacceptable to speed, it can cost lives. Think about your own driving behaviour and how it could impact on your family and friends. We will be educating, we will be warning – but where necessary we’ll be enforcing the law.”

He concluded: “These are our commitments to you under Operation Core. My final commitment – to keep you updated on our progress, the progress you enable us to achieve. This is a sustained operation, focusing the work of your local officers supported by specialist policing and partner resources, and over the next four months my team and I will keep you informed, updating you on how we’re making your area safer, telling you how you can get involved.

“Together we are all pledging to make a real difference in relation to drugs, violence and road safety. Falkirk, and the rest of Forth Valley, are great places in which to live, work and visit, and we will do all we can to keep them that way.”