Seven men and women in Dundee and Fife have been arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on “county lines” gangs.
Police officers found a samurai sword, heroin, crack cocaine, tablets and cannabis worth in total more than £6,000 at three addresses in Kinghorne Road and Canning Place in Dundee.
In Fife, officers safeguarded eight people, executed four warrants and arrested four people.
Around £4,000 worth of drugs were seized in the Kingdom as well as a number of offensive weapons.
Two 30 year-old women and a 19 year old man were arrested and charged in Dundee with being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.
Officers carried out the searches as part of a “national day of action” on Wednesday to tackle county lines drug distribution across Scotland.
Local officers, special constables and national resources, including Road Policing and Dog Unit officers, as well as British Transport Police, took part in the activity.
The Dundee raids come after senior officers promised more local action to tackle violence in Lochee and Strathmartine.
Tayside Division Prevention Hub’s Sergeant Elise Wilson said the force was working with local people and other agencies to drive the threat out of city communities.
She said: “Tackling drug misuse is not just about the police putting doors in and executing warrants – we must also address the wider issues that bring about drug abuse in the first place.
“We are clearly hearing from our local communities that illegal drug activity is not wanted or welcome here.
“We would like to thank the public for this support so far, and stress that we rely on information about suspicious behaviour to identify vulnerable victims as well as criminals.
“We can’t do this alone, and schools, health and social care services, charities and others have a critical role in helping us end this practice.”
County lines describes drug gangs from big cities expanding their operations into smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting young and vulnerable people to sell drugs.
Vulnerable individuals are forced to transport cash and drugs all over the country, so that the criminals behind them can remain detached and ultimately less likely to be caught, a police spokeswoman said.
Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable Angela McLaren said: “County Line gangs groom and exploit the most vulnerable people in our communities including children and young people to store and sell drugs. They are intimated, coerced, threatened and often subject to violence.
“These gangs are not welcome in Scotland.”
Tayside divisional commander Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd warned councillors last month about “serious and organised” crime groups operating in the city.
He warned of serious violence being used to enforce drugs-related debts.
He said the force’s Violence Prevention Board was looking for further opportunities to reduce violence and drug related crime.
He also promised “action plans” to specifically target violence in the Strathmartine and Lochee areas of the city.