The number of drug dealers being detected by police in East Renfrewshire has increased over the last year.
Figures show a small six per cent rise in the number of people discovered to be supplying controlled drugs from April 2018 to March 2019, when compared to the same period the year before.
This includes a “substantial recovery” in Newton Mearns, where officers from the force’s Divisional Proactive Unit recovered two kilograms of cannabis and 17,000 etizolam tablets.
Chief Inspector John McQuilter, area commander for East Renfrewshire, told councillors “quite a number of drug related deaths across Scotland have been linked” to etizolam.
“It’s impacting on people’s lives quite significantly,” he said.
Several arrests were made in the final quarter of 2018 due to drug dealing.
Mr McQuilter said: “This proactivity has resulted in an increase in the number of people being detected for the supply of controlled drugs in the last year and a 24 per cent increase against the five year average.
“Local problem solving team officers have executed several search warrants at addresses in the Barrhead and Newton Mearns areas.
“Quantities of controlled drugs, which included cannabis, cocaine and LSD, were seized and reports have been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.
“We have also shared information regarding house searches with East Renfrewshire Council’s housing department who were able to secure two eviction decrees for tenants that were dealing drugs.
“Officers from our Divisional Proactive Unit also searched an address in the Newton Mearns area and recovered two kilograms of cannabis and 17,000 etizolam tablets.
“This was a substantial recovery of drugs and again, a report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”
A police report states the force is committed to gathering information on those who supply controlled drugs and focus activity on disruption, intervention and enforcement.
It tries to influence young people, using dedicated school campus officers and key partners to raise awareness of the effects of drug misuse and abuse.
Officers have also been working with the Council’s licensing department to prevent alcohol related violence, visiting a number of premises across the local authority.
“In March, we secured the temporary suspension of a licensee who was failing to operate their premises in a fit and proper manner, and we have also reported a shop keeper for selling alcohol to under age youths,” Mr McQuilter said.
“It is anticipated that this individual’s license will be reviewed in the coming months.”