A series of high profile drug raids helped police seize £200,000 worth of controlled substances such as heroin in Shetland during 2008/09, according to a new report from Northern Constabulary.
The findings from the public performance report show illegal drugs totalling £180,000 were confiscated either at points of entry to the islands or from the streets.
The report says removing the drugs from circulation has helped make a “positive contribution to the safety of the community” but admits “there is much work still to be done”.
It comes just a week after findings from the Scottish government showed the detection of class A drugs across the Northern Constabulary area had almost doubled in the last year to 211 – an increase of 91.8 per cent.
The new report also acknowledges recognition of the growing drugs problem within the criminal justice system. Lerwick Sheriff Court has seen a number of suppliers receive lengthy sentences during the last few months.
“We have seen substantial prison sentences handed out by the courts to those found to be dealing in illegal drugs and will continue with intelligence-led operations utilising local, divisional, force and national resources to target those who are involved in peddling drugs,” the report says.
On the plus side, the new findings highlight support from the community as helping Shetland record one of the highest detection rates for major crimes during the last financial year.
The clear-up rate in the isles for the most serious offences, classed as group one to five crimes, reached 75.8 per cent – up five per cent on target figures.
Across the north of Scotland the area command achieved a 100 per cent detection rate for class one crimes – crimes against the person – and 81 per cent detection rate for class two crimes – crimes of indecency.
The report cites community relationships and strong partnerships between different agencies as key to achieving the strong results.
Safety on the roads is also showing signs of improvement, with no fatal collisions during 2008/09 – something the force describes as a “significant decrease from previous years”.
During the course of the year police in the isles stopped 50 drivers who were under the influence of drink or drugs.
“This is a continued indication of our commitment to proactively address this criminal activity,” the report says.