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Operation Protector supports people vulnerable to drug-related harm

By Chris Saunderson

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AN OPERATION to protect and provide support to people vulnerable to drug-related harm has been carried out in Moray.

People vulnerable to drugs were supported during the two day operation.
People vulnerable to drugs were supported during the two day operation.

Operation Protector took place on Wednesday and Thursday, November 2 and 3.

It saw officers work alongside partners from Moray Council, Arrows and the NHS.

In Elgin, Buckie and Keith, dedicated partnership hubs were set up, where information on safeguarding and support on making or influencing positive life changes was provided to over 100 people.

In addition, 108 outreach visits were conducted to vulnerable people who were offered the support of services designed to keep them safer and reduce the risk of drug-related overdose and deaths.

As part of the operation, five drug search warrants were executed in addresses across the area, with quantities of cocaine and cannabis recovered. Two people will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal at a later date in relation to drug offences.

Those encountered by police during enforcement were offered support by a dedicated Enforcement Support Team.

Chief Inspector Simon Reid, local area commander for Moray said: “The partnership work conducted as part of Operation Protector continues to focus around the need for effective intervention and outreach to those most vulnerable in our communities.

"Enforcement complements the need to focus and take action against those who target the vulnerable however enforcement is no longer the solution to tackling the issue around drug related harm.

"Effective intervention and assertive outreach is and focuses on reducing the demand for drugs in our communities. We will continue to work routinely with our partners across Moray to keep people safe from those who blight our communities and to reduce drug related harm.”

Justin Jansen, service manager for Arrows said: “This continues to be a welcome opportunity to bring our teams together with our partners into a focussed outreach based operation to reach those who we know to be most at risk.

"Some individuals reach a point where they lose choice about what they can do to change their lives and are unable to take themselves out of the harmful situation. This is when outreach becomes the most effective way to reach individuals most at risk.

"At the same time, we are encouraging communities to contribute directly in the partnership response to the impact of serious organised crime on individuals and families who are our communities. We have already impacted positively on a number of people’s lives and, with the continued work under Operation Protector, this effective work will continue.”

If you or anyone you know are affected by drug related harm, support and assistance are available to you by calling 01343 610 500 (Arrows, Moray).

If you live in Aberdeen City or Aberdeenshire, support is also available by calling 0333 344 8355 (Alcohol & Drugs Action) or 01467 539013 (Aberdeenshire).

If you are at risk or are being forced to sell controlled drugs, please call 101 or in an emergency call 999.

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