‘Nowhere to hide’ as po­lice step up drugs crack­down

OF­FI­CERS EN­FORCE ZERO TOL­ER­ANCE AP­PROACH AND VOW TO FLUSH OUT OR­GAN­ISED CRIM­I­NALS

The Oban Times - - Front Page - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

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

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