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Police / More than £300,000 worth of drugs seized this year

Photo: Shetland News

HALF a kilo of heroin with a “wholesale” value of about £55,000 was confiscated by local police last weekend.

Shetland area commander Stuart Clemenson said the Class A drug had been taken out of circulation after being detected by drug dogs at the Lerwick Post Office.

No-one has been charged or arrested yet.

It comes as a report on the work of the Dogs against Drugs charity shows that from 1 April and 30 September this year, the organisation’s sniffer dogs were tasked on 85 occasions.

Shetland area commander chief inspector Stuart Clemenson. Photo: Shetland News

During this six-month period illegal drugs were detected 52 times. 

The chief inspector said that during this time the total value of drugs taken off the street with the help of the dogs was £160,000 – a figure that rises to £310,000, plus £29,000 in cash, for the first ten months of 2022.

The figures for the year so far show a rise from 2020 and 2021.

Clemenson said that drugs were regularly seized from people coming off the ferry. In addition, many drug packages are detected at the sorting office.

“There is a constant flow of drugs coming into the islands,” Clemson said. 

“We intercepted one at the weekend which was approximately £55,000 worth of heroin. We took a package with 416 grams of heroin that was posted in Aberdeen. It was posted to Shetland via recorded mail, which gives us a good line of enquiry.

He added: “The Dogs against Drugs officers are doing a brilliant job and they are well supported in the community.”

Speaking at a meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board later on Wednesday, Clemenson said the figures were “exceptional”.

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In the last six months nearly 3,500 people were scanned coming into Shetland by ferry or plane, he said.

He said during 2022 £160,000 of heroin has been seized, as well as £15,000 worth of cocaine.

Clemenson explained that was at “wholesale” price – but once broken down into sellable amounts the “retail” price would be greater.

He added that the price of drugs tend to be higher in Shetland due to the extra difficulty of getting substances into the isles.

Board chairman Allison Duncan said the figures were “staggering” and questioned if affluence in Shetland played a part.

Clemenson said: “There’s a lot of money in Shetland, without a doubt, and a lot of cash from the people who are predominantly in that community who are actively seeking to buy drugs.”

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