Orkney’s drugs dog has helped police detect and seize substances with an estimated street value of almost £90,000 in the islands in the past year.
Zoe and her handler assisted with busts involving £72,236 of cannabis, £9,430 of cocaine, tablet forms worth £6,532 and £610 of heroin between April 1 last year and March 31 this year.
Andrew Drever, chairman of the Orkney Drugs Dog charity, said: “We are committed to continuing our partnership work with Police Scotland, whereby Zoe, our drugs detection dog and her handler, search out illegal drugs coming into, and within, Orkney through regular searches at the Post Office, our air and ferry ports and through assisting with warrant searches.
“As can be seen, there are considerable quantities and types of drugs within our community. With the support of the public, we will continue working towards keeping Orkney safe through directly reducing the harm caused by illegal drug misuse, impacting on drug related offending and bringing positive outcomes for our community.”
The charity said anyone with information about illegal drug supply or use within Orkney can report it directly to Police Scotland on 101, through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or through its youth programme Fearless Scotland.
Area Commander for Orkney, Chief Inspector Matt Webb, said: “Police Scotland is absolutely committed to acting on information provided by the public to reduce the availability of drugs in our community and minimise the harm they cause.
“Thankfully a significant quantity of illegal drugs bound for streets throughout Scotland have now been seized and I would like to thank Orkney Drugs Dog for their continuing detection and deterrent work – the charity has a significant impact in minimising harm not only locally, but in communities nationwide.
Charity helps keep community safe
“Zoe and her handler are not only committed to detecting and stopping people transporting drugs to Orkney, but carry out a fantastic programme of drugs education and prevention in schools and to other group which will hopefully resume in the near future once restrictions ease. I cannot praise the charity enough for the contribution they make to helping keep our community a safe place to live.”
Between January and November last year sniffer dogs in the Northern and Western Isles helped police seize more than £250,000 of drugs, including £62,000 in Orkney, assisted by black Labrador Zoe.
It included Class A drugs with an estimated street value of more than £10,000 recovered with the help of intelligence received by police in Orkney.
Officers from the Kirkwall Community Policing Team launched an investigation into suspected drug offences and were assisted by the drugs dog charity, as well as Police Scotland colleagues in Glasgow.
A 24-year-old woman was later charged after a warrant was executed in the Possilpark area of Glasgow.