Borders drug campaign moves up a gear

A campaign to tackle drug crime in the Scottish Borders, initially set up in July, has entered a new phase.

Lessons in drug dangers taught in Scottish Borders

Police in the Scottish Borders are teaching children about drug crime as part of a campaign tackling the problem.

Raids targeting drug dealers have been taking place across the Borders since July, as part of Operation Goal.

54 people have been charged during this time, and seven are in jail. Now, children will be taught about the affects that taking drugs have on people's lives.

Detective Inspector Amanda McGrath spoke to ITV Border's Jenny Longden about Operation Goal and what it hopes to achieve.

New phase for "Operation Goal" in Borders

A campaign to tackle drug related crime in the Scottish Borders is entering a new phase.

Operation Goal was initially set up in July to remove people involved in street-level drug dealing from the Borders.

Following raids, 54 people from the region were charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The main focus is now on diversion and intervention. NHS Borders, Scottish Borders Council and Lothian and Borders Police joined forces and officers will visit schools in the county over the coming academic year.

They aim to make sure youths are aware of the dangers of drug and substance misuse.

"The council is really pleased with the results of Operation Goal so far and we remain committed to working closely with Lothian and Borders Police and NHS Borders as it enters a new phase.

"By engaging with local communities and providing the necessary assistance and information to them, we can prevent people from going down this dark path, while also supporting those already affected by drug and substance issues.

"Education is clearly a key part of tackling the problem and I'm especially pleased that police officers will be visiting all of our schools to interact directly with the children."

– Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council

To help demonstrate the consequences of becoming involved in drug crime, children will be shown presentations by the difference agencies involved in Operation Goal.

They'll be encouraged to ask questions and voice their concerns over drug related matters.

"Tackling the route problems associated with drugs goes much deeper than just removing the dealers from the community.

"It is essential that we educate and deter the public from substance abuse as early as possible and we will carry out various engagement activities with schools and other groups to achieve this.

"Our partners at NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council play a pivotal role in this new phase of Operation Goal and the support and guidance they can provide to our communities will further assist the ongoing efforts to eliminate the devastating impact of drugs."

– Detective Chief Inspector Amanda McGrath, Lothian and Borders Police