SHETLAND’s new police area commander said he was “taken aback” by the value of drugs seized in Lerwick earlier this week.
Heroin with an estimated street value of £135,000 was recovered in Lerwick on Monday, and two men later appeared in court.
The matter was raised at meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board on Wednesday.
It was the first meeting that Paul Daley appeared as Shetland’s new police area commander after Lindsay Tulloch was seconded to another role on the mainland.
Councillor Allison Duncan questioned if there were any trends regarding higher value of drugs being taken into Shetland.
Daley said he was unsure about whether lockdown and Covid restrictions had increased drug use, and therefore drug supply.
“I was very taken back when I heard about the level of recovery,” he said.
Meanwhile, police in Shetland recovered nearly £150,000 worth of drugs between April last year and 31 March 2021 with the assistance of Dogs Against Drugs.
A number of detections recorded resulted in no prosecution, however, as some controlled substances were removed from the postal system.
The figures were included in a report to members of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board on Wednesday.
Figures show that the number of people charged for drug possession in Shetland rose from 78 in 2019/20 to 119 in 2020/21.
For drug supply the figures dropped from 21 to 13.
The figures in the report also reiterated the impact lockdown and coronavirus restrictions have had on crime rates, with the likes of driving offences and shoplifting down. Occurrences of common assault also dropped from 137 to 88.
Daley said one area of concern was the rise in the number of hate crimes, which increased from one to five.
He said this included offences relating to disability, race and sexual orientation, while graffiti sprayed in the south mainland was also included in this figure.
Councillor Moraig Lyall also said she was “really saddened” that the number of assaults on emergency workers had risen from three to 17.
She suggested that education in schools could be one way of tackling the figure of assaults on emergency workers.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 500 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News