Recent successes have highlighted just how important community intelligence is to disrupting the drug trade. Between July and the end of September, 25 Misuse of Drugs Act Warrants were executed which resulted in multiple drugs seizures, and a substantial amount of money recovered.
Nearly £37,000 worth of drugs were seized along with a quantity of cash. Operation Phantom, set up to disrupt organised crime groups, executed simultaneous warrants at two West Lothian addresses in relation to the supply of controlled drugs. During this, two men were arrested and charged with Misuse of Drugs Act offences.
Community Sergeant Iain Wells told Linlithgow local area committee: “Any drug supply/possession offences are due to proactive police work which is greatly assisted by intelligence from local residents. There’s a lot of really good work coming through to address these offences.”
Sgt Wells added that seized cash usually forms part of criminal cases and further investigation under Proceeds of Crime legislation to disrupt organised crime.
If applicable, police will disclose information with registered social landlords in relation to MDA enforcement action at their properties to enable follow-up in relation to breaches of tenancies.
Sgt Wells added: “We continue to focus our activity on disrupting Organised Crime groups, particularly referencing drugs supply, larger scale cultivations and class A drugs. 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.”
In another major investigation – Operation Hutchen – detectives in West Lothian launched an inquiry into recent thefts of Transit vans in both Lothian and Scottish Borders and Forth Valley police areas. During this inquiry, a 26 year old man was identified as being responsible.
“This was due to excellent forensic work by detectives and resulted in him being reported for 24 vehicle related offences,” Sgt Wells told the local area committee.