Police have stepped up the fight against drug-related harm in Dundee by seizing more than £100,000 of illicit substances.
As part of anti-drugs initiative Operation Slate, officers made high-profile seizures at addresses across Dundee between October and December last year.
Among the substances seized were heroin, Valium, cannabis and cocaine, with a combined street value of about £94,784.
In addition, another £6,850 of drugs was seized from individuals leading to the recording of 144 crimes by officers.
Operation Slate has run for several years and has led to a multitude of successful seizures and convictions against drug dealers.
However, Chief Inspector Nicola Russell, local area commander for Dundee, suggested the initiative is changing tack, supporting those exposed to drugs while putting dealers behind bars.
Ch Insp Russell told Dundee City Council’s community safety and public protection committee: “During this operation 1,091 people have been engaged with, working with partners in community safety to signpost them to services available in the city.
“We have had some significant drug recoveries in this period. It has been a key focus for (us).”
Councillors noted the change in tactics around anti-drug activities.
Maryfield representative Councillor Ken Lynn said: “I thought Operation Slate was primarily about removing illegal substances from the street – which is great.
“What I’m interested in is that 1,091 people were engaged with and were getting advice about support services and getting naloxone (an opioid overdose reversal drug).
“What were the means of officers engaging with them?”
Ch Insp Russell told the committee that Operation Slate is tied closely to Operation Fundamental, a multi-agency approach which launched last year with the aim of bringing about a long-term reduction in harm.
She added: “In terms of the 1,091 people being engaged with, officers are often engaging with people in a vulnerable state. These aren’t always people with drugs on them – they could be people our officers happen to engage with.
“Is it right for officers to just walk away from them? Absolutely not. It’s for us to work with social work, to signpost those individuals particularly towards naloxone and support services wherever they may be, whether it’s housing or foodbanks, anything like that.”