£65,000 worth of cocaine seized from Partick home in police operation

A MAJOR police ­operation led by one of Britain's highest ranking ­officers has nabbed more than 400 people for a range of offences.

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Operation Relay has already seen 400 people arrested
Operation Relay has already seen 400 people arrested

Since Operation Relay was launched earlier this month £150,000 worth of drugs and £100,000 of counterfeit goods have been seized.

A major coup was the discovery of more than £65,000 worth of cocaine seized from a house in Partick, in Glasgow's West End.

Superintendent Thom McLoughlin has been drafted in to tackle crime in Glasgow.

The crime-fighter has dedicated almost two decades of his life to clamping down on thugs intent on causing misery across the country.

From his office at London Road Police Office, he is plugged into a Glasgow-wide operation that makes sure criminals get what's coming to them.

Operation Relay, which is led by Superintendents McLoughlin and Brian ­McInulty, is aimed at violent criminals, gangs and serious and organised crime groups.

Despite only being days into the two-month operation, Mr McLoughlin has already hailed Relay as a "huge success".

Mr McLoughlin, 41, said: "For me, there is a clear line in the sand and we will stop at nothing to protect you.

"But if you cross that line, we will stop at nothing to bring you to justice."

During the first week of the campaign, more than 560 people stopped and searched were found to be breaking the law.

Serious and organised crime was hit in the pocket, with cash being seized and assets frozen.

The Evening Times has exclusive access to the campaign.

Officers also recovered £30,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis from a house in Cathcart, on the South Side of the city.

A 54-year-old man was ­arrested in connection with the find.

Hundreds of illegally downloaded songs are ­understood to be among the £100,000 worth of counterfeit goods seized by officers.

Less than a month into his new job, as Glasgow's newest Superintendent has already made his mark.

Mr McLoughlin has worked at forces across the country, including Metropolitan Police, Greater ­Manchester Police, and Lancashire Constabulary.

He is relishing his new role and hopes to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to crime-fighting in the city.

"I've been really blessed in my career," Mr McLoughlin said.

"I've worked at the Olympics, the G8 summit, been match commander at Old Trafford for Manchester United games, I've been involved in so many different operations.

"In 2010, I went out to Libya with a team to support and train officers. I will never forget working in an environment with grenades going off just meters away.

"But it was a great experience and when we left the Libyans planned to adopt a Scottish policing plan."

Mr McLoughlin has also worked in Central Scotland and at the Scottish Police College, training the country's new recruits.

One of the achievements he is most proud of is his bravery commendation for catching a suspect after a violent struggle while off duty.

Mr McLoughlin spotted the man while walking home from work and chased after him when he ran off in Stirling.

The housebreaking suspect, who was arrested and charged, also racially abused Mr McLoughlin.

As he was given his commendation in 2011, his senior officers said the case showed that police officers were never really "off duty".

Mr McLoughlin is now responsible for policing Glasgow North and says he wants teams to focus on proactive policing rather than simply patrolling.

He said: "Police Scotland listen to what people want. People want to feel safe, and know that they can send their children out and they will come home.

"We aim to protect members of the public and keep people safe.

"That is the measure of our success - that is what we do.

"People don't want to know about percentages and figures, they want to know that they can go out at night and feel safe. That's what matters.

"And since I've been in Glasgow, I've found Police Scotland's dedication to keeping people safe is absolutely infectious."

Operation Relay will run until May 31, with ­officers taking part in ­intense action in an attempt to reduce crime at every level.

As well as stamping out violence and disrupting organised crime, officers want to make communities safer.

Reassuring the public will be a key part of the initiative.

Extra resources will be drafted in and every available officer will be involved in the operation.

Superintendent McLoughlin added: "Throughout Operation Relay, we will be tackling the causes of crime and focusing on long-term solutions.

"People will see an ­increase in the number of police officers on the streets and at transport hubs.

"Operation Relay makes it difficult for criminals to operate and disrupts any ­serious and organised crime.

"We will have the right people, in the right place, at the right time."

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Drugs

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