drug enforcement agency

Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency

The Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) is a police agency in Scotland responsible for disrupting and dismantling serious organised crime groups; by taking the profit out of such crime and reducing the demand for such products. It works alongside other Scottish police forces and is answerable to Scottish Ministers through the Scottish Police Services Authority. The Director of the agency is responsible to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament for financial and administrative matters. Some functions are shared with the UK national Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), but SOCA requires permission from the SCDEA or the Lord Advocate to conduct certain operations.


The SCDEA is headed by a Director General and Deputy Director General, who as members of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland form the core of the Policy Group (the Executive of the SDEA.)


The SCDEA has created several units and officials responsible for expanding its role in preventing serious crime in Scotland:

  • Drugs Strategy Unit
  • Scottish Money Laundering Unit
  • Scottish Witness Liaison Unit
  • National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (Scotland)


The Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency (SDEA) was established on 1 Apr 2001.

The Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 put the SDEA on a statutory footing and renamed it as the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, funded through the Scottish Police Services Authority.

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