A CRACKDOWN on drugs in the Borders has seen a rise of almost 50 percent in successful raids over the past year.

With help from the council-funded Community Action Team, Police Scotland carried out 86 busts which resulted in drugs being discovered between April 2018 and the end of March.

The figure is a significant rise on the previous year's 59 successful raids.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "A proactive and intelligence led approach by the Scottish Borders Community Action Team has seen a 45.8 percent rise in detections for drug related offences.

"We continue to work with the local authority to task the Community Action Team with regard to drug related issues, assisting in the execution of drugs warrants.

"There has been a significant increase in drug enforcement over the last quarter with the Community Action Team taking a leading role in this regard."

Among the detections for drugs supply, production and cultivation during 2018/19 was a raid at former shop premises in Selkirk's Curror Street which led to around £500,000 worth of cannabis plants being found.

Officers believe that increased patrols have helped gather information about dealers and growers.

The Community Action Team carried 81 foot- and over 160 mobile-patrols in identified areas of concern.

The spokesman added: "Some of these patrols are intelligence led in relation to disrupting drugs supply or responding to information received regarding vehicles being driven by disqualified or uninsured drivers.

"The CAT also uses these patrols to cover more rural areas which have been subject to crime such as quad bike and other agricultural

machinery thefts.

"As a result of these patrols officers have made a number of drugs recoveries and issued traffic tickets and reported offenders."

During 2018/19 there were also 45 drugs-related stop and searches carried out on Borders streets.

Exactly one-third of them were successful.