Police vow to kick out drug dealers

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Chief Inspector Andy McLean has this week vowed to get drug dealers off the streets of Hawick.

The town’s top police officer emphasised that the fight against drug crime is one of the force’s main aims and he revealed an increase in the number of those being charged with supply offences.

Chief Inspector McLean was commenting after holding talks with councillors Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer, both of whom had expressed concern over two heroin-related incidents in the town in February. The meeting also came in the wake of the recent Operation Gatekeeper drug raids in the town which netted £1,400 of cannabis and ecstasy.

Mr McLean said: “We share the opinion and concerns of the communities we serve that drug crime is absolutely unacceptable and offenders must be removed from our streets.

“Tackling drug crime is one of our top priorities and intelligence is continually being gathered on those involved in the production and distribution of harmful substances.”

He also said that once his officers had built up enough evidence against an individual or crime group, they would carry out robust enforcement activity and anyone found to be responsible for crimes of this nature would be brought to justice.

“This proactive approach to tackling drug crime and associate offences has resulted in a rise in the number of detections for drug supply charges within the Borders, from 60 during 2014/15, to 64 in 2015/16,” added the chief inspector.

Councillor McAteer, an ex-head of criminal investigation with the former Lothian and Borders force, said the meeting with Mr McLean had been positive and productive, and he welcomed news that further operations were being planned to disrupt those intent on dealing or supplying illegal substances.