Police Scotland targeted drugs dealers – who exploit vulnerable people, including children and young adults – during a national County Lines day of action on Wednesday, 16 September 2020.
Proactive action by officers resulted in vulnerable people being identified, ‘cuckooing’ addresses being visited, a number drugs search warrants executed and people being arrested.
A large quantity of controlled drugs, including heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis were seized.
Tens of thousands of pounds in cash and weapons, including a Samurai sword, were also recovered.
Local officers, special constables and national resources, including Road Policing and Dog Unit officers, as well as British Transport Police, took part in the activity throughout the day.
County Lines refers to drug dealers from large cities who expand their operations into smaller towns.
They endeavour to exploit young and vulnerable people to sell drugs, carry cash and weapons – bringing violence, coercion and abuse.
They may also take over a vulnerable person’s house – known as cuckooing’.
Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable Angela McLaren said:
“County Line gangs groom and exploit the most vulnerable people in our communities including children and young people to store and sell drugs.
“They are intimated, coerced, threatened and often subject to violence.
“These gangs are not welcome in Scotland.
“Our officers remain absolutely committed to working with our partners in the SOC Taskforce to safeguard individuals who may be at risk and to pursue offenders.
“Together we will continue to make Scotland a hostile environment to those who seek to engage in criminal activity.
“The positive results during the day of action are an example of this work which will continue in support of the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy.
“As ever, I would urge anyone with concerns to report them to Police Scotland or alternatively to Crime stoppers anonymously.”
In the North East, 38 people were safeguarded, seven warrants were executed and two people were arrested.
Drugs, with a street value of £5,500 as well as £9,000 in cash and a knife were recovered.
Organised Crime officers arrested a man from Liverpool near Stirling as part of an intelligence-led operation and almost £35,000 in cash was seized.
Elsewhere in Forth Valley, officers also safeguarded six people, executed a warrant, arrested one person and seized an additional three-figure sum of cash.
Tayside officers seized drugs, believed to be heroin, crack cocaine, cannabis and a quantity of pills with a street value of £6000 after warrants were executed warrants at three addresses in Dundee.
A quantity of cash and a sword were also seized.
In Edinburgh 11 people were safeguarded and officers executed four warrants.
Two people were arrested and £1,500 of drugs and over £2,000 in cash was seized.
13 people were safeguarded in the Lothians and Scottish Borders.
One person was arrested and £2,000 in cash was seized.
Seven people were safeguarded, four warrants were executed and six people were arrested in the Highlands and Islands.
Over £14,000 of drugs and approximately £5,600 in cash was seized.
In Fife, eight people were safeguarded, four warrants were executed and four people were arrested. £4,000 worth of drugs was seized as well as a number of offensive weapons.
Ayrshire officers executed five warrants and arrested four people.
They also seized £5,500 worth of drugs and seized nearly £10,000 in cash.