Scottish drug agency's haul soars

Paul Kelbie,Scotland Correspondent
Tuesday 25 June 2002 00:00

Hard drug seizures soared by 68 per cent in Scotland last year to a total value of £20m.

In only the second year of operation, the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency said the number of large seizures had trebled to 84, with at least 70 organised criminal networks destroyed. The number of professional criminals arrested increased by a third to more than 170.

The agency was set up in 2000 with a budget of £10m to tackle drug trafficking. The staff of 34 civilian experts and 100 detectives is divided between Scotland's eight police forces, and a further £6m in funding will help pay for 64 more officers within months.

At the official opening of the agency's new headquarters in Paisley yesterday, Jim Orr, the director, said the seizures and arrests were largely a result of improved intelligence.

"It is absolutely critical that we become smarter in identifying and taking away money from criminals," Mr Orr said. "Much has been achieved by the agency, and as a result of the co-ordinating role of the SDEA, there is now a better understanding of the nature and extent of drug trafficking, serious and organised crime in Scotland."

Jack McConnell, Scotland's First Minister, said: "It is vital that we have a Scotland-wide approach to ensure there is nowhere for dealers to hide. Drug dealers do not respect police force boundaries.

"Making a real difference on drugs, means better enforcement to attack the supply and action to reduce the demand."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in