A Lerwick councillor has expressed concern about the accessibility of drugs in Shetland – saying it was “not even subtle anymore”.
Speaking at a meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board on Wednesday, Neil Pearson said he had heard stories of children as young as ten or 11 accessing hallucinogenic substances.
He also said he experienced someone asking for “powder” at a busy Lerwick taxi rank at Christmas, with some people obliging and “away they went”.
The Lerwick South councillor also told the meeting there were alleged incidents reported in his constituency of masked individuals breaking down doors of people concerned in the supply of drugs.
Saying how felt it was not subtle anymore, the Lerwick South councillor added: “There’s no fear in anybody – drugs are quite an open topic for young people, they’re quite happy to speak about it. And not just young people, by the way.”
He asked if the police had a “meaningful plan” to tackle the issue in Shetland.
Police chief inspector Stuart Clemenson conceded it was “changed days” in terms of drug use, with cocaine increasingly popular.
He said the incidents like the taxi rank experience were “commonplace”.
Clemenson said generally drugs was a “massive, massive struggle” – not just locally, but across the country.
Cocaine wipe checks on toilets in licensed premises in Shetland continue to show residues, the meeting heard, including at the portable toilets at the Tall Ships event in July.
He also reiterated that people buying drugs do not know what exactly is contained in them.
“There’s a real danger that they take too much because it’s too strong,” the police chief said.
Clemenson added: “Are we losing the war? No. Are we doing everything we possibly can? Absolutely.”
The meeting also heard that around £750,000 worth of drugs had been seized in Shetland in the last 18 months.
The police chief also reminded the public to get in touch regarding any suspicions over drugs in Shetland.