Police have committed to ensuring there are more officers out on the beat around Aberdeen’s George Street to tackle the area’s drug problems.
They will remain there “indefinitely” in order to crack down on dealing, theft and antisocial behaviour.
High visibility patrols were introduced in December in response to complaints the scale of drug activity had reached “crisis point”.
Foot patrols were brought in as a way of gathering intelligence on criminals operating in and around George Street and ten-hour patrols will now be undertaken every Wednesday and Saturday.
Police claim the information gleaned from having officers out on the beat has already been hugely valuable.
A police spokesman said: “The intelligence that has been gathered from the community and shopkeepers, and even just things we stumbled upon while on patrol, has been so valuable.
“The patrols are ongoing and are planned indefinitely.”
Residents, speaking at George Street Community Council, welcomed the news but claimed crime was still a daily occurrence.
Particular concerns has been raised about the area surrounding the high-rise housing at Hutcheon Court and Greig Court.
Police have begun patrolling stairwells within the tower blocks in an effort to deter criminality.
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One George Street resident said: “It’s beyond a joke. One of my friends lives in the multi-storeys and she sees all the dealing going on.”
Police have claimed “success” in apprehending criminals in the area, but have been unable to say how many warrants the information passed to them has secured.
The spokesman added: “Drug deals happen so quickly but we always hope to be able to deal with them at the time.
“If we can’t, we would ask people to give us descriptions of the individuals and vehicles involved and where it happened.”
The general manager of Finnies The Jewellers, Stuart Milne, said it was a problem experienced in every city centre.
He hopes the attention being given to the problem will move it on.
“That’s really the best you can hope for,” he said.
“It is depressing, but it’s not the worst place.”