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.
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.
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.
– Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council
"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."
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.
– Detective Chief Inspector Amanda McGrath, Lothian and Borders Police
"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."
Police in Dumfries and Galloway are appealing for information after prescription drugs were lost in Dumfries town centre.
The drugs went missing on Wednesday afternoon. Officers are reminding members of the public they can be dangerous should only be taken by the person they were prescribed too.
Anyone finding these drugs is asked to hand them into their nearest police station or any police officer. Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact police on 0845 600 5701 or any police officer. Information can also be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The number of deaths caused by the misuse of drugs in the Scottish Borders has increased seven-fold in the past ten years.
Figures released by the Scottish Government show that drugs related deaths in Scotland have hit an all time high, with 584 people dying last year as a result of substance misuse.
The Scottish Borders Drugs and Alcohol Partnership plan to tackle the problem through 'prevention and treatment'.
Voluntary Groups in the Borders such as Face2Face in Galashiels and Up2U in Peebles increase awareness of the dangers of drugs to young people.
NHS Borders provides medical treatment and support both at home and in hospital.
– Dr Mike Kehoe, NHS Borders Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions
"These figures highlight the ongoing tragedy of young lives cut short by drugs...Sadly, many of these people will have been in contact with drug misuse services at some time.
Rehabilitation from drug misuse can be a long and complicated journey and people need a lot of support, not only from our services, but from family and friends."
Almost 220,000 needles were handed out to drug users in Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders last year, according to the Scottish Conservatives.
Over 4.5m syringes were distributed throughout Scotland, almost the same amount as the number of people who live there.
– Scottish Conservatives Health Spokesman Jackson Carlow MSP
“These numbers show there are almost as many needles handed out in Scotland as there are people living in this country. People speak about the importance of reducing needle-sharing, but what about the importance of ridding our parks and playgrounds of dumped drug-using equipment?"
Despite the number being down on the previous year, only 25% of the syringes handed out were through a replacement scheme, raising concerns over whether needles are being disposed of responsibly.
Another seven people have been arrested in the biggest anti-drugs campaign in the Borders for more than 5 years.
It brings the total number of arrests to 38, with quantities of heroin and other drugs being seized from properties.
Police have raided homes in Earlston, Hawick and Galashiels in the last week.
The campaign, named Operation Goal, is aimed at targeting street level drug dealers.
Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and other partners are reminding people going to the Wickerman festival of the dangers of over indulgence substance misuse.
In particular consuming excess alcohol and the perils of New Psychoactive substances.
Inspector Amanda Scott , Community Safety Inspector, Galloway Division says:
– Inspector Amanda Scott
“We do recognise that the Wickerman Festival 2012 is a family festival however it would be amiss of us if we and our partners did not alert the public about the significant dangers of the over indulgence of substance use. We have seen elsewhere of the horrific consequences that are apparent and along with the Wickerman festival organisers we would like to ensure Wickerman 2012 is enjoyable experience for all”