AYRSHIRE’S new Divisional Commander has vowed to crack down on drug crime in the area as a top priority.

Speaking after taking up his new post, Mark Hargreaves said he will be reviewing the current approach on the supply and misuse of drugs, and will look at different ways to tackle the problem.

Mr Hargreaves said: The people of Ayrshire, through the Local Policing Plans, have identified the supply and misuse of drugs as one of their priorities, and it is an area of policing I will be immediately looking to review our approach to see what measures can be undertaken to tackle this problem.”

While drug crime is rife in Ayrshire, additional support to for those struggling with addiction will also be addressed. Divisional Commander Hargreaves added: “Drug dealing and misuse is a scourge on our communities, and is often the catalyst for other crime types such as crimes of violence and dishonesty, also identified as priorities by the community. In addition to enforcement action, I will work closely with our partners to ensure those who need help in tackling addiction issues, who come to police attention, are supported to break this cycle with a view to achieving a sustained reduction in criminality associated with substance misuse.

“This is a complex issue and one that requires the support of partners and the community, and one that I am determined to make an impact on for the benefit of the people who live, work in and visit Ayrshire. I would encourage residents of Ayrshire to assist police in this regard by providing any information regarding drug misuse or any crimes to local officers or by contacting police directly on 101 or via Crimestoppers.”