‘With the public’s support, we will get the people responsible for any criminality’

Langlee Drugs Raids. Raids co-ordinator, acting police sgt. Russell Copeland.
Langlee Drugs Raids. Raids co-ordinator, acting police sgt. Russell Copeland.

DRUG dealers in the Borders have been told to expect their homes to be raided, after three houses in Galashiels were targeted by police officers.

A 36-year-old man is due to appear in court following an operation focused on flats on the same street in the top end of the Langlee estate.

Langlee Drugs Raids. An officer takes potential avidence away from one of the properties that was raided.

Langlee Drugs Raids. An officer takes potential avidence away from one of the properties that was raided.

Tip-offs had led police to believed the properties were involved in the production and dealing of Class A drugs.

Cannabis was recovered from one home, leading to the man being charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act, and he is due to appear in court at a later date.

A woman was also led out of the same flat and was detained in connection with an ongoing drugs investigation, but released pending further inquiries.

Acting Police Sergeant Russell Copeland led the raids, and told TheSouthern: “The message is clear – with the public’s support we will get the people responsible for any criminality in the community.

Langlee Drugs Raids. Officers are briefed before the drugs raids in Langlee, Galashiels.

Langlee Drugs Raids. Officers are briefed before the drugs raids in Langlee, Galashiels.

“Our main aim is to make sure our community is safe. If the public keep on telling us that they have concerns with drug dealing, we will be going through drug dealers’ doors.

“Drug related criminal activity will not be tolerated.”

Yesterday’s raids under Operation Gather, included around 20 officers from Lothian and Borders Police’s specialised support unit from Edinburgh, as well as uniformed officers and the proactive unit from the Borders.

The door of the first flat was smashed opened by the specialist support unit officers at 8.55am. Officers and a dog handler followed, and a thorough search of the home led to the arrest of the 36-year-old man.

The next two properties, both on the same street as the first, were targeted at 9.05am and 9.15am but no-one in either flat was arrested following searches.

Neighbours peered through windows and passers-by stopped to see what was happening as officers rushed between blocks of flats on what would normally have been a quiet morning on the estate.

Sergeant Copeland said the raids were the result of information from members of the public and he thanked them for their assistance.

He added: “It was successful. We gained entry into three addresses and this has only been done with the help of our colleagues in Edinburgh and community beat officers.

“This operation is to reassure members of the public that we have a community commitment pledge that means that any information they provide us, we will be seen to take action.

“The information we received regarding this operation has all come from the public. We rely on the public to be in contact with us and we thank them for their help.

“Once a tip-off is received, officers firm up the drug dealing allegations before a warrant is issued to allow the raid to go ahead.”

“The intelligence picture can change on a daily basis, but I would say to the public that we are listening to your needs and we will act on any information that you can provide us,” he added.

Asked if drugs was a particular problem for Langlee, Sergeant Copeland told us: “The Langlee area, like the rest of Galashiels and the Borders remains a safe place to live, work and visit.

“Nevertheless the scourge of drugs can have a devastating impact on an area and police must respond appropriately to any intelligence we receive relating to drug crime.

“Our presence within Langlee today has sent a very clear message that we will robustly investigate any reports of crime within our communities.”

Last night, officers delivered letters to neighbouring properties, explaining the reasons for the raids.

Anyone who wishes to report a crime is asked to contact their local police team, or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

A similar operation in Hawick last November yielded nearly £20,000 worth of goods, including cannabis, amphetamine and contraband tobacco and alcohol from one of three houses targeted.

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act after police discovered a cannabis farm worth £1,000 in Hawick.

A search of an address in last Thursday found a number of plants and quantities of a herbal form of the drug.