Worrying trend of heroin in the region

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A retired divisional police commander has called for “more recognition” of the presence of heroin on the streets of the Borders.

Watson McAteer, now the Independent councillor for Hawick & Denholm, says he wants immediate action to tackle suppliers.

His plea came after last week’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council when he questioned Councillor Donald Moffat (SNP), executive member for community safety, over what he called a “worrying trend”.

Citing recent raids in Burnfoot, when several people were charged with being allegedly concerned in the supply of the class A drug, Councillor McAteer asked: “Does this current trend require us to revisit existing education and enforcement arrangements and what reassurance can we give local residents, including parents and children, that the police and authorities are in control?”

Councillor Moffat, chairs of the Police, Fire & Rescue and Safer Communities Board, said: “I understand local police officers, supported by specialist police resources, will continue to act proactively on an intelligence-led basis to tackle those supplying controlled drugs.

“SBC continues to provide specific drugs education in schools, supported via Police Scotland’s six locality integration officers in the Borders.

“Police Scotland’s divisional drugs and alcohol officer supports the Scottish Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership. And there is also a multi-agency drugs trends monitoring group which meets regularly at the Borders General Hospital to discuss the latest trends and identify appropriate actions, including any educational requirements.”

After the meeting, Mr McAteer said he was unsure if Mr Moffat’s “standard reply” would reassure the Borders public.