Drug charges reach new high amid police crackdown 

Charges are up 15.4% on the five-year average for supplying drugs and cannabis cultivations are up 17.2% on the five-year average.

Drug charges reach new high amid police crackdown in North Ayrshire LDRS

Drug supply charges in North Ayrshire have increased over the last nine months.

Charges are up 15.4% on the five-year average for supplying drugs and cannabis cultivations are up 17.2% on the five-year average, the North Ayrshire police and fire and rescue committee heard on Monday.

Identifying any real patterns to where these crimes are taking place needs co-operation between local officers and divisional staff, building on the community intelligence provided by North Ayrshire residents and community groups or via Crimestoppers.

The positive increase in supply charges is welcomed and reflective of the significant work being undertaken within North Ayrshire by the local Intelligence officer, intelligence development Unit and proactive policing team.

Information and intelligence from the community help identify who is responsible at all levels for the supply of controlled drugs across North Ayrshire.

In November, officers from the Proactive Crime Team searched an address in Kilwinning. During which they recovered a hydraulic cocaine press.

This type of equipment is indicative of high-level drug dealing.

The householder was arrested and charged with being concerned in supply of Class A Controlled drugs with enquiry ongoing into the drug network in which he operates within.

The threat posed by Albanian organised crime groups continues to increase across Scotland and the wider United Kingdom. In December 2023 a large-scale cannabis cultivation was discovered in an industrial area of Stevenston.

This find was a result of effective partnership working and intelligence sharing. During the search. 850 cannabis plants were recovered and an additional 143.5kg of cannabis, with an estimated value of £860,000.

Six Albanian nationals were arrested at the site and information is shared with other UK forces.

The number of reported robbery-type crimes so far this year has decreased from 24 last year to 22 in the first nine months of this year.

This is also below the five-year average of 29.2. So far, 18 crimes have been detected this year, giving a detection rate of 81.8 per cent.

The Rivergate Shopping Centre area remains the only repeat location with two crimes taking place at this location. Ten of these crimes have taken place within the home, with a physical assault being most commonly used against the victim.

Cash remains the most commonly acquired item and the victim knew the offender, in some capacity, in at least 68 per cent of robberies so far this year. The reduction is welcome and is reflective of the ongoing preventative work within North Ayrshire both within schools and robust policing of the town centres.

Robberies are a key priority within North Ayrshire.

Dedicated town centre officers continue to proactively engage with retailers regarding preventative measures and raising awareness.

Preventative measures are continually refreshed which include identifying those known offenders who are subject to bail conditions to ensure compliance of conditions and all warrants for robbery offenders are prioritised to ensure they are apprehended at the earliest opportunity.

With some detections taking longer to achieve following more complex enquiries, hostile complainers or incidents involving forensic results, the detection rates are anticipated to increase as enquiries progress.

Whilst being committed to robust enforcement we remain committed to identifying the underlying factors that lead offenders to commit such crimes working closely with partners to ensure appropriate supports are put in place that could reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

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