POLICE chiefs have welcomed the release of new figures detailing the number of drug seizures within the Grampian force area and warned they will continue to target the trade.
In 2010-2011, Grampian officers have made 2,450 drug seizures, 29% (721) of which were Class A substances. The statistics also revealed that nearly 40% of crack cocaine seizures in Scotland were in Grampian.
The seizures came about as a result of a number of operations aimed at tackling both street-level dealers and organised crime groups.
Detective Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson said: “It has long been recognised that those involved in the drugs trade see Grampian – and Aberdeen in particular – as a lucrative market, particularly for crack cocaine.
“These figures are further evidence of recent successes in tackling the drugs trade within the region and that is testament to the continued efforts of Grampian Police, our partners and communities.”
The figures – released by the Scottish Government – come just months after Grampian Police revealed it had disrupted 14 organised crime groups, seizing drugs worth more than £250,000.
Det Chief Supt Thomson added: “Serious Organised Crime and Drugs remains a force priority and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.
“We will continue to target and investigate those involved in this illicit trade in order to prevent harm to our communities.
“In many cases it is the most vulnerable within our society often become the victims of these individuals, often through no fault of their own.
“These people take great risks in order to turn a profit and are more than happy to turn a blind eye to the misery they cause.”
Grampian Police launched a new strategy – code named Operation Shield – which is aligned with the national serious organised crime strategy in an effort to compliment work already carried out throughout the force area.”
Almost half a million pounds of illegal drugs were recovered during the first month.
Det Chief Supt Thomson added: “The excellent work being carried out with local policing teams and partners through Operation Maple, Operation Hotspur and Operation Moravia continues to be extremely successful”