Page last updated at 09:26 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 10:26 UK

Police hit squad moves into town

Police on patrol (generic)
The team will target drugs, crime, alcohol and anti-social behaviour

A new police hit squad is aiming to catch drug dealers and criminals in Arbroath while tackling anti-social behaviour and improving road safety.

The team of nine officers will work in the area until mid-January.

They have already been supporting drugs raids and a crackdown on those without car tax or insurance.

The group hopes that by focusing efforts on the town such problems will be reduced in the long-term and will not spring up again when they leave.

The community taskforce will work in five areas - drugs, crime, alcohol, anti-social behaviour and road safety.

Supt Ewen West, who is leading the team, said: "Arbroath, like most places, has got a drugs problem, a class A drugs problem around heroin in particular.

What we want to do is make the Arbroath area a pretty hostile environment for drug dealers and other criminals
Ch Supt Alan Campbell

"That obviously has a significant impact on the level of crime and general anti-social behaviour that goes along with people who're under the influence of drugs.

"So we need to do something about that and we are going to do something about that.

"We want to make Arbroath a place where it is particularly uncomfortable for drug dealers to be plying their trade."

The team will make significant use of CCTV and will use the cameras to track down people committing offences like shoplifting, car crime or house breaking.

They will be targeting boy racers and will seize the cars of people who are committing motoring offences.

The taskforce is also going to be cracking down on individual houses where there have been a lot of complaints about noise.

'Highly visible'

And in the run-up to 5 November they will be trying to make sure youngsters do not start illegal bonfires or cause problems with fireworks.


Police on an early morning raid

Ch Supt Alan Campbell said: "We're particularly keen to work closely with the community. We'll be out on the streets, we'll be highly visible and we'll be speaking to people in Arbroath.

"We want to get their views about the kind of things that they think we should be tackling and the kind of people we should be tackling.

"What we want to do is make the Arbroath area a pretty hostile environment for drug dealers and other criminals and make it a better place for the ordinary folk that live there."

Councillor Bob Spink welcomed the police action.

He said: "We do have an ongoing problem with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, anti-social behaviour and these are very serious issues which affect the public.

"I find now that when constituents contact me, nine times out of 10 it's anti-social behaviour issues and that's indicative of a serious threat.

"So I'm very pleased that something is to be done about it."

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