Illegal drugs seized in Cumbria has doubled in the year. Over the last twelve months Cumbria police have seized £1.4m of class A drugs
Police in the Scottish Borders have carried out the largest drugs operation there in five years.
Cumbria police have seized nearly one and a half million pounds worth of drugs in the past 12 months.
Reporter Matthew Taylor
Three people have been arrested in Maryport after a woman was taken to hospital when she took some "bad" valium.
The police have been questioning a woman aged 32 and a 42 year old man and a 29 year old man in connection with the incident.
Cumbria Police say they have seized a significant quantity of pills from Maryport but warn that more may be in circulation in the area.
They're described as being small blue-cloured or similar pills and are being sold by street dealers as valium or "blues".
Anyone who comes across suspicious pills are advised by the police to hand them into their local police station.
The 28 year old woman from Maryport suspected of taking the contaminated pills has been treated overnight at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.
Parents have been told to watch for dirty needles after one was found by children on a playing field at a primary school in South West Scotland.
Dalbeattie Primary School has sent a letter to parents to re-assure them about safety at the school.
Children are now banned from the playing field and more checks are to be carried out.
Dumfries and Galloway Council said that it had been disposed of safely.
– Police Scotland spokesperson
A syringe was found in the school grounds. It was disposed of safely and police visited the school.
Pupils have been given safety advice relating to finding suspicious items. The school has written to parents to inform them of the incident and to reinforce the safety advice.”
The depute head teacher, Jenny Irving, has sent a letter out to parents at the 300-pupil school to urge them to warn their children against the dangers of picking up needles.
– Jenny Irving, depute head teacher, in letter to parents
A used needle was found in an area of the playing fields where children are not normally allowed to play. The item was removed and the police were contacted.
I would like to reassure you that the correct procedures to deal with situation were followed. In the meantime we are not allowing the children to play on the field area until more thorough checks are carried out.”
I would be grateful if you would chat to your child/children about what to do if they find any dangerous items. We have advised them to tell an adult but not to touch.
– Jenny Irving, depute head teacher, in letter to parents
We have addressed this in school with all children but your support is much appreciated."
"Quality assurance is not something that is applied to illicit drugs, a fact that is supported by forensic analysis.
– Acting Detective Chief Inspector Hollis, Dumfries and Galloway Division, Police Scotland
"You have no idea what you may have taken or the effect on your body. Drug dealers do not care what they are peddling, they are only interested in making money and do not care about the devastating effects of incidents like this may have on the local community and the families of those concerned.
"The circumstance of this death is something we are actively investigating and would like to assure the public that we will take every opportunity to report the persons responsible for supplying such a substance."
If users experience any of the following symptoms after ingesting the drug, they are advised to visit a hospital as soon as possible.
The symptoms are treatable if medical help is found early enough:
- High temperatures
- Rapid heart rate
- Severe nausea and vomiting
If you are concerned about any individual you can obtain information locally from Addaction, Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, telephone 01387 263208, or NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service, Lochfield Road, Dumfries, telephone 01387 244555.
A warning is being sent out to drug users in Dumfries and Galloway over the circulation of potentially lethal drugs.
Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership are raising public awareness after the death of a young man in the Annandale area.
Medical professionals and the police are still investigating the death, but they believe that it may be related to tablets he used shortly before he died.
Dr Derek Cox, the Director of Public Health and Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership, said:
“We are very concerned about the circumstances of this death, not only for the tragic and unnecessary loss of a young man’s life but also the fact that hazardous unknown tablets are being consumed in our area.
"These tablets maybe sold as Ecstasy but in reality the substances they contain are largely unknown and untested. If taken they can have a dramatic effect on the user and the people surrounding them."
Nine men have been sentenced to a total of just over 60 years in prison, in connection with a conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
'Operation Chamonix' began in April 2012, with detectives from Cumbria Police investigating Cumbrian criminals, believed to be at the centre of the drug supply network.
The ring leader, 47 year old Aaron Giacopazzi from Carlisle, was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Detective Superintendant Paul Duhig told reporter John Bevir what he thought about the outcome of the case.
Eight people have been sentenced to a total of 49 years in prison for their part in a large-scale drugs ring.
The seven men and one woman from Carlisle, Kendal, west Cumbria and St Helens, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court.
'Operation Adder-Silkworm' began in April 2012, with officers from Cumbria Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit investigating a drug supply network.
The following defendants were sentenced :
- Luke Anthony Babester,39 years old of Milnthorpe Road Kendal sentenced to 12 years imprisonment
- Roger Fox, 38 years old, of Greta Avenue Carlisle, sentenced to nine years, nine months
- Stephen James Neill 32 years old of Castle View Kendal sentenced to five years, three months
- Steven John Smith, 32 years old of Town Croft, Dearham, sentenced to 10 years, six months
- Martin Andrew Smith 31 years of Grange Avenue, Flimby, sentenced to two years, six months
- Michael John Britland 30 years old of Billinge Crescent, St Helens, sentenced to three years, four months
- Grant Joseph Robertson 28 years old of Lingla Bank Frizington, sentenced to three years
- Angela Marie Clark 52 years old of Robert Owen Avenue, Cleator Moor, sentenced to three years
– Detective Inspector Mike Brown, Cumbria Police
"Today’s sentences are the result of a great deal of hard, painstaking work by detectives and officers across many departments who are 100% committed to targeting the supply of controlled drugs.
“Although crime is low in Cumbria, we know that there are some people who set their sights onbeing “kingpins” in the drugs trade.
“Criminals often think they are clever and can escape the law. It’s not true. If you get involved in drugs supply you will end up in jail.
“The communities of Cumbria expect us to target serious criminals and that’s what we will continue to do.”
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.