Police have warned Glasgow-based dealers are setting up in North Ayrshire housing schemes, using them as a base for their drug supplies.

The area's police and fire committee heard last week that drug supply charges had risen in North Ayrshire over the last year - with cannabis cultivation up 31 per cent.

In March, officers from North Ayrshire Locality Policing Team searched a property in Irvine and recovered a quantity of diazepam, cocaine and diamorphine with a street value of more than £6,000.

A quantity of cash was also seized under Proceeds of Crime Act. Four people were arrested and charged with being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. 

Police said it was part of a recent trend that has seen Glasgow drug dealers setting up shop in North Ayrshire homes.

The meeting heard drug supply charges had risen 15.4 per cent on the five-year average

Despite last year's rise, cannabis cultivations remained the same for the five-year average

Chief Superintendent Raymond Higgins told the committee: “Proactivity remains the main focus and means by which these charges are obtained.

"Identifying any real patterns to where these crimes are taking place requires the combined work of local officers and divisional staff, building on the Community Intelligence provided by North Ayrshire residents, community groups or via Crimestoppers. 

"The positive increase in supply charges is welcomed and is reflective of the significant work being undertaken within North Ayrshire by our Local Intelligence officers, Intelligence Development Unit and our Proactive Policing team. 

“Information and intelligence gleaned from the community via our locality and response officers are the building blocks to identify and target those who supply high harm commodity within our communities."