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Major drugs operation leads to arrest

A Galashiels man has made a private court appearance following a major drugs operation involving more than 100 police officers in the Scottish Borders.

Raymond Russell, 34, was charged with being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug to another person and also drug possession.

He made no plea or declaration at Jedburgh Sheriff Court and his case was continued for further examination. Russell was released on bail pending his next court appearance on a date yet to be confirmed.

He was arrested and charged along with a 32-year-old man as part of Operation Archerfish on Thursday which targeted people being suspected of being involved in the sale of and supply of drugs.

Police Scotland say they are also looking for another man in connection with a cannabis cultivation.

8 houses in Galashiels, Hawick, Kelso and Selkirk were searched on Thursday as part of Operation Archerfish, which targeted people suspected of being involved in the sale and supply of drugs.Cannabis was recovered, as well as other suspected controlled drugs.

A total of £1200 cash was seized, with drugs with a street value in the region of £3750.

More than one hundred officers were involved in what's being called the biggest operation in the Borders in the past two years.

Two men arrested in Borders drugs operation

Two men have been arrested and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act, after a major operation in the Scottish Borders.

The men, aged 32 and 34, will appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court tomorrow morning. The police are searching for another man.

Eight houses were searched as part of Operation Archerfish, which targeted people suspected of being involved in the sale and supply of drugs.

Cannabis was recovered, as well as other suspected controlled drugs.

A total of £1200 cash was seized, with drugs with a street value in the region of £3750.

More than one hundred officers were involved in what's being called the biggest operation in the Borders in the past two years.

"This operation was devised due to feedback from the local community.

"Over 100 officers took part in today's executive day of action and we have sent a strong message to those in our community who peddle harmful substances to the public.

"However our work does not stop today. Tackling drug crime and drug misuse as a key priority for Police Scotland. "We need more information from the public in order to stop these criminals."

– Stephen Healy, Detective Chief Inspector, Specialist Crime Division

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Police Execute Operation Archerfish

A major drugs operation has been undertaken in the Scottish Borders.

Operation Archerfish was conducted this morning at various addresses in Galashiels, Hawick, Kelso and Selkirk. The operation is the culmination of long process of intelligence gathering, which has allowed police to target people who distribute drugs in the local community.

Around 65 police officers took part in today’s operation, which is a proactive initiative by Police Scotland to address concerns in the local community. The organisation is eager to target those involved in the sale and supply of drugs in the Borders with a significant day of enforcement.

Police will be distributing information about the illegal use of drugs, and how it can be reported, in Galashiels town centre in the afternoon. There will be highly visible patrols on duty throughout the day.

Police Scotland is also working with the Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders to negate any impact of this operation.

“Today’s successful operation is the start of long-term plan to tackle drugs use and supply throughout the region.”

“This operation was successful due to the multi-agency approach that we have taken to address this issue. We are deploying a large amount of resources to the Borders with the explicit aim of tackling drug misuse and distribution.

“The sale and use of illegal substances is a scourge on our community and is a top priority for Police Scotland. We will not tolerate this type of anti-social behaviour in the Borders and we will continue to hold those who peddle drugs in our community to account.”

– Scottish Borders Area Commander Chief Inspector Andrew McLean

“The Community Planning Partnership, of which NHS Borders and the Council are part of, fully supports the action taken by Police Scotland today in tackling drug crime in communities in the Scottish Borders.

“Many local people will not think there is a significant drug problem in the area, however NHS Borders and other agencies in the Scottish Borders are at the front line and see the impact of substance misuse on a daily basis.

“Drugs have a devastating impact on people’s health, well-being and life in general, and we have a range of confidential support services available for adults and young people. Being vigilant in your own community towards this activity can help tackle this destructive crime.”

– Dr Eric Baijal, Joint Director of Public Health for NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council

£314,000 worth of drugs seized on M6

Police have seized thousands of pounds worth of drugs from a car on the M6.

The quantity of cannabis resin that was found has a street value of £314,000.

Paul Howard, 46, from Birkenhead, Merseyside, was stopped by officers on the motorway near Carlisle yesterday, Tuesday 13 May, at 11:30am.

He is expected to appear at Carlisle Magistrates Court today, Wednesday 14 May.

Woman involved in £130,000 drug supply sentenced

A woman from Silloth has been sentenced to 23 months in prison for her involvement in the importing of £130,000 worth of drugs.

45-year-old Anita Robertson was told her sentence would be suspended for two years.

She appeared in Carlisle Crown Court yesterday, Thursday 1 May, after pleading guilty to helping to import 6.5kg of mephedrone.

She came under suspicion when packages addressed to her arrived at Stansted Airport and Coventry International in August 2013.

The packages contained white crystalline substances which were later confirmed to be Class B controlled drugs.

She was arrested on the 21 August 2013 after the police discovered she had been receiving packages over a seven month period.

“Robertson believed that she could just receive these packages containing illegal drugs and get away with it. However, this case highlights that we are always checking on illegal activity. Once suspicious were raised, then it was only a matter of time before we brought her to justice.

“This investigation prevented a substantial amount of illegal drugs going onto the streets and is another example of the continuing work by Cumbria Police, along with partner agencies to disrupt the importation and distribution of illegal drugs.”

– Andrew Myers, Detective Sergeant, Cumbria Police

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Primary school children 'at risk of drug addiction'

The Press Association findings, released today, indicate that children as young as nine have been referred to treatment centres in the Scottish Borders.

They say their investigation revealed primary school children are being flagged as at risk of becoming addicts.

Treatment experts said the most common reason for children to come into contact with drugs and alcohol is through their parents.

Preventative work is key to heading off misuse among youngsters and nationally, charities have called for improved drugs education in schools.

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Reacting to the Press Association findings the chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said:

"I am deeply concerned that children so young are clearly gaining access to harmful substances.

"It is right that these youngsters receive the appropriate help but we must look at the source of their problems.

"It is vital that parents take responsibility and additional support is given to them in order to prevent children being exposed to drugs and alcohol in the first place."

– Keith Vaz, chairman, Commons Home Affairs Select Committee
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Hundreds of under-12's 'referred for drug treatment'

The Press Association have approached councils across the UK and found children as young as four being referred by education and children's services to alcohol and drug specialists.

In the Freedom of Information request, more than half of under-13s - 59% - received treatment for cannabis misuse, while a third were treated for alcohol misuse.

A small number abused solvents.

A bedroom at a treatment centre for drug addicts and alcoholics. Credit: PA/PA Archive

Eight-year-olds had been referred to services in Waltham Forest and East Ayrshire, while nine-year-olds had been referred in Herefordshire, Liverpool, Oxfordshire, Rutland, the Scottish Borders and West Berkshire.

Authorities in Bury, Calderdale, Halton, Hull, Monmouthshire and Rochdale had seen 10-year-olds referred.

Some 366 children aged 12 or under were referred for treatment in 2012/13 in England, according to the most recent figures from Public Health England, compared with 433 in 2011/12.

Prison drug supply disrupted by police

Cumbria Police have arrested three men in connection with the supply of controlled drugs to Haverigg Prison in Millom.

Officers from the Operational Support Unit and the Automatic Number Plate Recognition team conducted a specific operation, named Helmwind, to target and disrupt drug supply into the prison.

As a result of monitoring visits to the prison on Wednesday 23 April:

  • Three men aged 18, 27, and 32 from Manchester were arrested. They were all bailed while enquiries continue
  • Three men from Rochdale were give cannabis warnings
  • Three men were turned away from the prison due to signs of drug misuse in the vehicle there were travelling in.

“We are fully supportive of the work being done by Haverigg Prison to stop drug abuse and by running operational such as these, we help to disrupt the supply into the prison.

“We will continue to run these operations periodically and hope this sends a strong message to anyone who tries to bring drugs into the area, you will be caught and brought to justice”

– Sergeant Darren Bawden, Operational Support Unit, Cumbria Police
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