A pilot scheme has been launched in Aberdeen to clampdown on drug dealers exploiting people as suppliers, in what is known as “cuckooing”. After the success of initiatives like Operation Corner in Peterhead and Fraserburgh, Police Scotland are now trying to replicate the criminal strategy in Aberdeen.
Cuckooing – where dealers commandeer homes of people to deal or store drugs – has been ongoing in north Aberdeenshire since late 2017 with over 100 individuals identified as victims and a number of them receiving support to break the cycle of substance misuse.
Police Scotland revealed more than 2,100 people have been charged in relation to drug offences in the north east of Scotland over the past 12 months. The force revealed that 13.7kg of heroin and 7.2kg of cocaine was recovered, over 100kg of cannabis and cannabis resin was seized, while £207,000 in cash was also confiscated in connection to drug crimes.
Several significant recoveries were also made, including £1million-worth of ecstasy in the Rosemount area of Aberdeen and £105,000 worth of amphetamine and heroin from a property in rural Finzean.
The latest drug statistical bulletin in Scotland – Drug seizures and offender characteristics: 2017-18 – recorded more than 27,000 drug possession crimes in 2017-18. The report found the majority of drug possession offenders were male (86 per cent), with a median age of 30 years old.
In 2017-18, Police Scotland seized more than 200kg of class A drugs (79.1kg of cocaine and 122.4kg of heroin), and 1,267.7kg of herbal cannabis and cannabis resin. Approximately 25,400 ecstasy-type tablets and 1.1 litres of methadone were also seized in the same period.
Detective Chief Inspector, Lorna Ferguson, concluded:
“Tackling drug misuse is not just about the Police putting doors in and executing warrants – whilst this is an important part of disrupting the supply, we must also address the wider issues that bring about drug abuse in the first place.”
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