Dogs tackle rail offences

SNIFFER dogs have been deployed for the first time on local trains recently as part of a police operation tackling anti-social behaviour, weapons and drug offences.

Operation Glade, run jointly by Tayside Police and British Transport Police, also included a training aspect for the dogs and their handlers who were tasked with finding “drug mules”, in this case plain clothes officers involved in the operation.

As a result of the dogs’ activities, however, a number of individuals were spoken to by officers and a 38-year-old man was found in possession of cannabis and will be reported to the procurator fiscal.

Officers boarded the trains between Montrose and Arbroath to engage with and reassure passengers with members of the force’s Community Impact Team, Dog Section and Special Constables taking part.

Sergeant Suzanne Smith, from the Community Impact Team, said the exercise gave the dogs an ideal opportunity to test their skills.

She said: “We have had a very positive reaction from the public who have been appreciative of our presence on the trains and it has been an excellent operation in terms of working in partnership with British Transport Police, ScotRail and Network Rail and we hope to carry out Operation Glade again in the future”.

Sergeant Jim Wands from British Transport Police said a joint approach involving both forces is commonplace as they find they are targeting the same people carrying out the same crimes in the same areas.

He said: “Combating anti-social behaviour on the rail network is a priority for British Transport Police and this partnership initiative reinforces the message that drugs have no place in our communities.”