Frustrated residents say they have been forced to move away from an Aberdeen street amid mounting concerns about drug abuse.
Fears have repeatedly been raised that dealers are plying their trade on George Street at alarming levels, and police have ramped up patrols in response to a rising number of complaints.
It has now emerged that, having grown exasperated at the scale of the problem, some residents have decided to leave the area entirely.
Among them were two members of George Street Community Council, which claims that the situation has reached “crisis point”.
Group chairman, Andrew Macleod, said: “Police have told us they are working to improve the situation as drugs are causing a lot of stress to residents.
“It is a shame when people get driven out as a result of this.
“We lost two community councillors because of it.
“One had a suspected drug dealer in their building, and the other had a fair few people taking drugs or drinking near their property.”
Local councillor, Sandra McDonald, claims to have witnessed a suspected drugs sale on the nearby Thompson Street.
She said: “Of course I cannot be certain, but the car in front of me stopped and someone approached the window to receive something, before going back to the pavement.
“Drugs are certainly an issue in the community and it is important that the public remains vigilant, as police need our help to catch perpetrators.”
The subject is one which has been discussed during past meetings of the community group.
Minutes from the most recent gathering state that “unreasonable tenants” have been “causing havoc” for those who “just want to get on with their day to day lives”.
The record added that drug-dealing at Hutcheon Court “can often be very obvious”.
The meeting heard that police have encouraged unhappy residents to keep a diary of incidents, along with the times they occur.
In response to calls for more bobbies on the beat, police are undertaking twice-weekly patrols to clamp down on crime in George Street.
Inspector Steve Robertson said: “We understand how distressing it can be to experience drug misuse issues or associated antisocial behaviour near where you live or work.
“We work closely with councillors, our communities and our partners in the George Street area to address local concerns.
“We will relentlessly pursue those who choose to engage themselves in the illegal supply of drugs and associated antisocial behaviour but we need the support of the community to do this.
“It takes time to build up an intelligence picture and that is why I urge people to continue raising their concerns.
“High visibility patrols are regularly carried out and I would encourage anyone with concerns to report these to any officer or via 101 with as much information as possible including any description of people and vehicles.”
There was an increase in drug crime in Aberdeen last year with police recording 194 incidents pertaining to the supply of illegal substances between April and September, compared to 172 the previous year.
The total number of drug-related crimes, including both possession and supply, was 1,441 in the six-month period.
The figure was the fourth highest of every local authority area in Scotland, with only Edinburgh, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire recording greater numbers.