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Police / Police chief ‘taken aback’ by value of drugs seized in Lerwick

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.

Shetland’s newly appointed area commander, chief inspector Paul Daley. Photo: Police Scotland

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.