POLICE swooped on a string of homes in the Lothians early today in a major offensive against heroin and cocaine dealers.
Sixteen people were detained in the raids which saw £200,000 in cash recovered from a house in Stoneybank Court in Musselburgh and £30,000 of heroin from a house in the west end of Edinburgh
More than 100 officers in riot gear took part in the blitz, which saw 13 properties raided in areas including the west end, Craigmillar and Musselburgh.
The raids come as part of Operation Amend, a Police Scotland campaign pursuing drug dealers and organised criminals in Edinburgh.
Since last year, officers have been gathering information on suspected drug dealers operating primarily in the south and east of the city.
Around £10,000 worth of drugs has been seized as part of this investigative activity, which culminated with today’s clamp down.
City leaders today welcomed the action taken by police and urged residents to report drug dealing to the force. Police chiefs also worked with NHS staff to prepare for the fall-out from the raids, with support being offered to drug users affected by the operation.
Detective Superintendent Gareth Blair, of Police Scotland, said: “Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe, and improving the quality of life for residents in communities throughout Edinburgh.
“People should be reassured that Police Scotland is committed to making communities safer and more secure through targeted and intelligence-led policing, alongside work with local partners.
“We will be relentless in our pursuit of drug dealers and serious and organised criminals whose activities cause so much harm, and we would encourage the public to play their part in this effort by providing us with information.
“Anyone with information on drug dealers and serious and organised criminals operating in their community should contact Police Scotland on 101, or make an anonymous report through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Councillor Cammy Day, the city’s community safety leader, said: “We are committed to working with Police Scotland and supporting them to tackle drug-related crime.
“People have the right to feel safe living in their own communities and we will take strong action against any tenants convicted of drug-related offences.
“We continue to work closely with Police Scotland, health services and other agencies throughout Lothian by providing a broad range of services to help and support individuals to address the causes and consequences of problematic drug use.”
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “Drug dealing and serious organised crime are blights on our communities and the malicious actions of a small minority can have a devastating effect on the wider population. Today’s activity shows the police are taking a tough approach to crime and disrupting the criminal actions of a small minority – getting them out of our neighbourhoods.”