‘Nowhere to hide’ as police step up drugs crackdown
OFFICERS ENFORCE ZERO TOLERANCE APPROACH AND VOW TO FLUSH OUT ORGANISED CRIMINALS
ORGANISED criminals will be flushed out of town with the help of the public, the Oban, Lorn and the isles’ area inspector told a meeting of Oban community council on Monday night.
With reports from members of the public that children as young as three are being used as lookouts for drug suppliers and drug barons from the cities beginning to build supply networks for drugs throughout Argyll, Inspector Mark Stephen, a former Glasgow drugs officer, told councillors ‘there is an organised way to deal with drug dealers in the town. Tell police officers about it.
‘Oban’s drug users and suppliers,’ he said, ‘ were being disrupted and were unable to go about their business.’
Saying it ‘ will be increasingly difficult’ to supply and use drugs in the town, he wants members of the public to come forward with drug use and dealer information, and other criminal activity, in order to halt the supply of heroin, cocaine and other class A, B and C drugs to users.
One person, who has already come forward both to the police and the Oban Times, said police acted on information that the informant believed at the time was almost insignificant.
The person decided to speak to officers from the community investigation unit after a chance meeting in the street.
For legal reasons the individual cannot be named.
The Oban Times was told by the informant that a few weeks ago information was passed to the police on what was believed to be the delivery of drugs made to particular flats in Soroba and Miller Road on the same day every week.
The informant said: ‘A team of people who seem to be drug users almost instantly appear after a particular car arrives at a property.
‘Some of the people coming to the house are as young as 12.
Last Sunday police were called to the Oban-to- Glasgow train to seize a bag of a substance believed to be cocaine worth £ 50, while other reports of drugs buried in the gardens of the elderly and infirm are being made on a regular basis to both Oban police station and Crimestoppers.
Inspector Stephen has called national police resources into the town to help officers stamp out the scourge of illegal use and supply of drugs.
Inspector Stephen told the community council: ‘There is nowhere to hide for drug dealers - we have people everywhere. Police across Argyll and Bute are closing in on drug dealing and the supply chain that already exists.
‘My children live here - your children live here - they deserve to grow up in safety.’
He continued: ‘ We have officers who are collecting and building up information on what is happening in the town and the rest of the area.
‘There are officers in plain clothes working around the town. There really is nowhere for criminals to hide.
‘ We have two officers heading up our community investigation unit (CIU) who are gathering intelligence all the time. Because of our work as a team, we know much more about the profile of suppliers, dealers and users in the town.’
Inspector Stephen added: ‘We have several supply cases ongoing that have been reported to the area procurator fiscal for his consideration.
‘ We have an excellent relationship with our communities who pass information to us through contact with officers or through Crimestoppers.
‘People tell us who they think are drug dealers. We keep all that information.’
Inspector Stephen said the use of specialist road policing units had helped to identify vehicles and people of interest who may be involved with criminal activity.
Inspector Stephen said: ‘ We will do everything possible to disrupt criminal activity.
‘Anyone with information in regards to illegal drug use should phone the community investigation unit in Oban by dialling 101 or speaking in confidence to Crimestoppers.’
My children live here - your children live here - they deserve to grow up in safety” Inspector Mark Stephen Area inspector