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Police raids net over £30,000 in drugs

POLICE in Shetland have vowed to step up the fight against substance abuse in the isles after a four day operation netted illegal drugs valued at more than £30,000.

Local officers backed up by colleagues from the Scottish mainland carried out more than 20 drug searches and raids using the local charity-funded sniffer dog as part of Operation Lance.

Extra checks were carried out at the Holmsgarth ferry terminal in Lerwick and at Sumburgh airport.

Area commander Angus McInnes said on Monday at least 22 search warrants were executed, yielding at least seven positive results for illegal drugs.

Operation Lance follows the pre-Christmas Operation Luminous, when police throughout the highlands and islands descended in force on licensed premises to clamp down on illegal drugs and excess drinking.

Three people appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Friday facing drugs charges after being arrested on the first day of the four day operation. All three were released on bail on charges relating to cocaine, heroin, valium and illegal prescription drugs.

Chief inspector McInnes said enquiries were ongoing and he expected a number of other people to be reported to the procurator fiscal.

He added that the force was also tackling the recent spate of burglaries at business premises, predominantly in Lerwick. He said that suspects would be reported, but he urged property owners to remain vigilant.

“I am aware that the use of illegal drugs is of concern to the community. It really struck me back in September when I came to Shetland that people want to see something done about it. This is what we can and what we will be doing more of into the future,” the chief inspector said.

“I would also ask people to make sure they lock their doors and windows and use every security measure that they have.

“If members of the public hear or see anything suspicious please contact us, no matter how trivial it might seem.”