The Scottish Police Federation has warned vulnerable people risk being failed if the impact of drugs on law enforcement is not further investigated.
The organisation’s comments come following the launch of the “radical” Dundee Drugs Commission report into drug harm and its impact on the city last week.
Sixty-six people died from drug related harm in Dundee in 2018.
Scottish Police Federation vice chairman David Hamilton said it was “deeply regrettable” the role of criminal justice services, matters of drug availability across Dundee and law enforcement around drug crime had not been reviewed.
The commission noted it had been “beyond (its) ability” to give due attention to enforcement issues and that it had not “had time” to review the area.
The commission added a summary of the police approach to availability of drugs and enforcement had been submitted by Superintendent Suzie Mertes, of Police Scotland and one of the commissioners.
These are still to be made available to the public, along with other appropriate appendices cited in the commission report.
Mr Hamilton said: “It’s deeply regrettable that the Commission has not had the opportunity to properly examine the criminal justice issues.
“Police Scotland currently faces savage cuts and without a proper understanding of how those will impact on frontline services, we risk failing the vulnerable people in this report.”
In its report, the commission said: “In relation to availability and enforcement issues this has proved to be beyond the ability of the Commission to give due attention to at this stage. However, one of our Commissioners (Suzie Mertes, superintendent, Police Scotland) has helpfully provided a precis of current approaches to availability and enforcement in Dundee.
“It must be noted though that the Commission has not had the time to review this area.”
Dundee Drugs Commission chair Robert Peat said: “We are clear that the Commission saw Criminal Justice issues as very important. However, as noted in the report, due to other factors, we were unable to explore it in the detail that would have been necessary.
“We would also note that we fully expect the National Task Force, being convened by the Minister Joe FitzPatrick, to have criminal justice issues high on their agenda.”
The SPF warned following the announcement of Dundee and Scotland’s drugs death statistics earlier this year the service was too stretched and “underfunded” to cope with the “national emergency”.
At the time, the Scottish Government said it had invested £1.2 billion in policing, which included a 52% increase in the capital budget to allow essential investment in IT infrastructure and support mobile working to enable officers to access information remotely and spend more time in communities.