Man arrested in drugs raids

POLICE, including specialised drugs officers, swooped on four properties in the Borders at the weekend, writes Bob Burgess.

They seized high-value cannabis and uncovered mini cannabis farms, seizing equipment used for growing the Class B drug.

A 47-year-old man was arrested and appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday where he also faced other proceedings from earlier incidents.

The closely co-ordinated raids took place in Galashiels, Selkirk, Jedburgh and Walkerburn, and police said the cannabis had a street value of around £16,000.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police at Hawick stated: “We are obviously delighted that we have removed this quantity of drugs from the streets, but we know that this is still the tip of the iceberg.

“The misery and dangers that cultivations pose cannot be underestimated. A large amount of electrical equipment is often used and this poses a particular fire hazard to adjoining properties. It is known that homes have also been damaged by damp and infestation of mites when given over to cultivations.

“Prevention is better than detection. However, it is crucial that people in our communities help us to identify and shut down cannabis cultivations.”

It’s understood that the raids were based on intelligence that had been gathered by officers over a number of weeks.

The spokesman added: “Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug and cultivations are highly lucrative, illegal businesses that fund other major crime, ranging from serious assaults and money laundering to human trafficking and prostitution.

“It is in all our interests to spot the signs of a cultivation.”

He said communities could be assured police would continue their campaign to weed out those involved.