DRUG dealer arrests have TRIPLED in the past year, the Evening Times can reveal.

A crackdown on criminals who peddle illegal substances in Glasgow city centre has seen arrests for the offence soar by 200%.

Cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and heroin were among the haul seized by officers.

A massive operation to ­detain and disrupt street dealers in the city centre saw supply busts increase by 215% in just one year.

Recorded detections for supply came in at 63 since April. It is a massive ­improvement from the 20 cases ­detected between April and June last year.

Chief Inspector Alan Porte said: "I am delighted with the results from the past year, which are unprecedented for an area the size of Glasgow city centre.

"In just one year the results have been fantastic and we will continue to build on this success.

"Months of intelligence gathering and hard work has gone into a series of operations aimed at tackling drug dealing.

"We know there are still people out there involved in the supply of drugs and ­Police Scotland officers will continue to pursue them.

"If you are going to sell drugs in Glasgow city centre you will be caught."

Earlier this year we told how police smashed a £250,000 drugs ring suspected of selling heroin on city centre streets.

The Evening Times joined the dawn swoop as more than 80 officers battered down doors of suspects across Glasgow.

Seven men and three women - aged between 21 and 47 - were arrested in connection with alleged drugs offences.

Police chiefs said Operation Futa was "hugely succesful" and has played a part in the impressive figures.

Mr Porte, area commander for the city centre, said: "We have highly skilled drugs squad detectives, who will leave no stone unturned.

"Uniformed officers will also continue to play a key role in targeting those involved in selling drugs.

"They are the eyes and ears of Police Scotland - and are vital in gathering information and evidence.

"However, I'm also ­conscious that to achieve our targets and to bring these ­people to justice we need the public's help. I would encourage ­anyone who has concerns regarding drug dealing to contact police."

Scores of people were nabbed after the death of a schoolgirl in a city centre nightclub.

Police focused resources on drug-related issues after the death of 17-year-old Regane MacColl.

Regane, from Clydebank, died in the early hours of Sunday February 2, after ­becoming ill in The Arches nightclub.

Detectives believe the ­tragedy could be linked to red 'Mortal Kombat' tablets, which are being sold as ecstasy.

Police activity was ramped up in the six weeks after Ms MacColl's death and more than 150 people were reported to the procurator fiscal for drugs offences.

None of the cases, how­ever, were directly linked to Ms MacColl's death.

As part of the drive, officers have targeted known drug dealers with police increasing their presence in and around city nightclubs.

Police sniffer dogs are also used to combat the drugs scourge.

Senior officers hope the huge increase in arrests will send out a strong message to those involved in drug-dealing in the city.

Mr Porte added: "A huge volume of people coming into the city centre and we want them to have a safe and fun night. Drug dealers may see the city's nightlife as an opportunity to make money.

"But we will continue to work to reduce the availability of drugs in the city centre.

"These people are only concerned with making a profit. Please don't let them take risks with your life. And if they do sell illicit drugs they will be locked up."

Anyone with concerns about drug dealing is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.