CLACKMANNAN residents can now "take back their streets" following a police crackdown on drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.

A number of raids launched over the past few weeks led to the recovery of at least £26,000 worth of class A and class B drugs, while a substantial amount of money was confiscated by officers.

The operations were said to have been a product of intelligence-led policing, with a focus on disrupting and removing those individuals who had "ruled the streets by fear and intimidation".

In the past, police have expressed concern about not just drug dealing in the Wee County but its associated criminality and anti-social behaviour.

With Clackmannan, it has been said that many residents had been fearful of speaking out against "particular group of individuals" for fear of being later targeted by them.

On Friday, February 26, a 36-year-old man was arrested after around £13,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis was recovered from a home in the village, along with around £8000 in cash.

The accused was then placed on remand and will remain locked up until his trial date later this year.

Then, a few days later on Friday, March 4, a 32-year-old woman was arrested following a search of a property on Backwood Court.

It was estimated that heroin, Valium and cannabis with a street value of close to £14,000 were seized as a result.

She appeared at court a few days later but was granted bail.

Police hope the raids should serve as deterrent to dealers in Clacks, while acting as assurance for residents.

Community Sergeant Cathy Sharkey told the Advertiser: "Residents in Clackmannan for some time have been complaining about serious anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and other criminality which was making their lives a misery and ruining the reputation of their streets and village.

"However, there was a reluctance to officially report this for fear of reprisals from a particular group of individuals responsible, a group who specifically targeted vulnerable residents and ruled the streets by fear and intimidation. 

"In partnership with other agencies from Clackmannanshire Council, we have worked closely together to formulate a strategy to reverse this and allow the residents to live without fear and to effectively take back their streets.

"The start of our new policing deployment model in November has assisted greatly with this; it has meant that our ward officers are now highly visible in their respective areas.

"PC Reg Ryles (528) and PC Barry Reiter (505) are the ward officers for Clackmannan and spend their time engaging with the residents and addressing their concerns; they are encouraged to contact them directly with any issues.

"As a result numerous persons of note have been evicted from their properties, issued with Anti Social Behaviour Orders or imprisoned which greatly improved the dynamics of particular streets. "

Sgt Sharkey added: "This sends a message to the drug dealers and other criminals who think they can take advantage of vulnerable residents and who think that the law does not apply to them - this will not be tolerated and Police Scotland will continue to target drug supply as a priority due to the impact that this has in our communities. 

"The feedback from residents has been fantastic, they tell us their quality of life has greatly improved and we will continue to engage with them to ensure this continues.

"We are not complacent about this; we are fully aware that we will have to continue to monitor things, however, I am confident that residents now feel reassured that they can speak to us safe in the knowledge that their concerns will be dealt with."

To report drug activity in the community, contact Alloa Police Station on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.