Drugs an ‘increasing problem’, meeting in Skye hears

The public are being urged to report concerns. Pic, CC/Marco Verch

There are increasing concerns over drugs in south Skye, it has been reported.

Community councils from Broadford, Kyleakin and Sleat met recently with local councillors and the police amid reports of a spate of drug and alcohol related crimes.

During a six-week period in the spring police said there were three incidents directly involving drugs – but there are fears substances could have played a part in several more.

The period also noted three assaults, one house break in and two shop thefts within the Broadford area.

Matters were raised at a meeting held in Broadford earlier this month, with communities and police pledging to work together to highlight and encourage people to report their concerns.

Hamish Fraser, the chairman of Broadford and Strath Community Council, said: “For some time the community council have been made increasingly aware of the apparent escalation of drug related activities in the community and the social problems that inevitably result from that activity.

“At our monthly meetings we have regular updates from police officers on all criminal and roads policing activities in the community and beyond and we have been heartened by recent convictions in relation to drug issues.

“The CC would like to assure members of the public that there are several different ways of reporting and communicating concerns – regarding any criminal activities in the community – to the authorities and that anonymity can be preserved all times.”

The meeting brought together the police and south Skye community councils

The meeting suggested that social media could be used as a tool to highlight the message of concern, while the Skye and Lochalsh Drug and Alcohol Forum is set to issue a flyer to every household in the area.

Local inspector Lynda Allan said: “As a local policing team we are very keen to address any issues or concerns which are clearly having an impact on local communities across Skye and Lochalsh and it is very reassuring and welcoming to have local community councils including Broadford, Kyleakin and Sleat taking ownership and responsibility around particular concerns they have in relation to the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

“We have and will continue to work very closely with all local agencies and proactively target such behaviours through various positive prevention and intervention activities and will report on regularly.

“As a team we are genuinely committed to working with all communities across the area to reduce harm caused by drugs and alcohol as the safety and wellbeing of all living in and visiting our area is very important to us who all not only work locally but live here too.”

Councillor John Finlayson added: “Community members who feel there might be a backlash if they are identified as passing on information can still report concerns to the police anonymously if they feel more comfortable doing it this way, and I would encourage them to do so.”

Police have appealed to anyone who has information around drug issues to come forward – and this can be done anonymously through Crimestoppers (tel 0800 555 111), calling 101 or speaking with a local officer.