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
Five drivers in the Scottish Borders have been arrested and charged in the last week with alleged drink-driving offences.
In two of the cases the drivers' cars were also seized.
Three males in their 50's and one in his 20s were found to be over the legal limit when stopped by police, and a 29 year old woman.
A Police spokesperson said:
“Most drivers in the Borders drive responsibly however there is still a minority who find it acceptable to drive whilst under the influence of alcohol. The safest option is to avoid driving altogether when you have consumed alcohol and to always plan how you will get home if your intention is to go out drinking.
"Our officers will always stop vehicles whenever they suspect that something is not right with the driver and alcohol is always one of the first considerations for an officer when stopping a vehicle. We also receive calls from the public alerting us to possible drink drivers and this can be done anonymously.
"I would urge anyone who suspects that a driver is under the influence of alcohol to contact Police. Drinking and driving can result in losing your licence which will impact employment and family life and there is also the increased risk of being involved in a serious collision.”
Lothian and Borders Police are holding a series of engagement events to find out what teenagers want from the police. Around 100 teenagers are taking part in the five regional 'Your Future, Your Police' sessions.
Using workshops and discussion groups, the 15-17 year olds will be given the chance to give their views on how they think the police should interact with teenagers, and what relevance the new Police Service of Scotland will have to them. Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen, said:
"The best thing about this type of event is that it allows us to engage with our young people in a positive environment, and gives us the opportunity to listen to what they have to say.
"We will record their views and opinions of policing in the Lothian and Borders area and use them in shaping the future as we move forward to the Police Service of Scotland."
– Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen
John Davidson, subject of the 1989 QED documentary 'John's Not Mad,' is guest speaker at each event, talking about how having severe Tourettes syndrome led to misunderstandings with the police in his teens, and how this was remedied through open and ongoing communication.
The sessions are on:
Mon 24th Sep - Deans Community High, Livingston, West Lothian
Tues 25th Sep - Corn Exchange, Haddington, East Lothian
Wed 26th Sep - Tweed Horizons, Newton St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Mon 1st October - Broughton High School, Edinburgh
A 66-year-old man has been assaulted by two men in Newtown St Boswells. The attack happened on Park Crescent at around 9pm on Monday 16th April. It is thought the victim, who usually walks with a stick, was assaulted by two men after falling over.
Our reporter has been told that two men approached the man offering to help but then turned on him and demanded money. They then physically attacked him and he was admitted to hospital. One of the suspects is described as being in his 20's with brown coloured hair.
Lothian and Borders Police are asking anyone who may have information to contact them.
Internet safety workshops held to help parents in the Borders
A series of Internet safety sessions are be run in the Scottish Borders to give parents help and guidance on keeping children safe while online.
Officers in Kelso, Hawick, Eyemouth, Peebles, Galshiels and Melrose will hold a series of one hour sessions over the next six months.
A presentation by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit will be given highlighting the risks young people face while online. The sessions are open to everyone. PC Rachel Stevenson said:
Parents don't need to be technically minded to benefit from these seminars, nor should they feel embarrassed if they do not know much about computers or the internet. The purpose of the sessions is to highlight the potential risks that are present when a child is online so they can be avoided. At the start of the century social networking did not exist and it is important that we provide parents with all the necessary support to meet the new challenges the Internet presents for protecting children."