The sniffer dog that is to be unleashed by crowdfunding locals to crack down on drugs dealers in Orkney has been revealed.
Orkney is to get its first sniffer dog after a fundraising drive by anti-drugs campaigners.
The charity set up to raise the cash has almost reached its initial funding target and is now advertising to recruit a dog handler with the first patrols to be launched in the autumn.
A fully-trained golden Labrador, called Whisky, has been enlisted from Police Scotland and a handler is being recruited with a salary of up to £27,000.
The move comes amid growing concerns about drug misuse on the islands. Andrew Drever, Orkney Drugs Dog chairman, said: “The public have been telling us there are problems in Orkney with drugs.
“There’s obviously drugs that are not being turned up because we don’t have a dog.
“The drugs problem here has been growing over the last 10 years and, while it is not as bad as some other areas, we want to nip it in the bud.
“There has also been a move from soft drugs to hard drugs here.”
Mr Drever said the first detection dog was an eight-year-old labrador, which has been used by Police Scotland in the Highlands. The move comes after Orkney saw a near doubling of drug possessions.
In 2016/17 there were just 29 – last year there were 50. Supplying drugs offences went from two to four.
In May last year, class A & B drugs worth almost £30,000 were recovered during intelligence led operations in Kirkwall and Stromness.
A similar sniffer dog patrol initiative has operated on Orkney’s northerly neighbours of Shetland since 2001 in an effort to safeguard the islands from the growing problem of illegal drugs.
Its leaders have been advising campaigners on Orkney about setting up their own scheme.
The start-up costs are £105,000, with annual running costs of between £55,000 and £60,000.
Including grants, £83,000 has been raised so far. Around £20,000 of that has come in donations directly from the public.
In addition, there has been £8,000 in kind with the donation of a used vehicle from a local garage.
The group still needs to raise £12,000 towards start-up costs, which it hopes to achieve over the coming weeks.