Belfast PCSP renews campaign to take drugs off the streets
20 Feb 2018
Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) is supporting a renewed campaign, launched today (Tuesday 20 February), highlighting the damage drugs do to individuals, families and communities and urging people to report drug dealers to Crimestoppers.
The ‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care, Do You?’ campaign was first launched in 2013 and, according to statistics released today, the number of calls made to Crimestoppers about drug-related activities in communities has increased during each annual campaign.
During the 2017 campaign, the overall number of call to Crimestoppers increased by 27 per cent, while the number of calls directly relating to drug activity rose by 50 per cent.
Belfast PCSP chairman Councillor Carole Howard said the statistics spoke for themselves:
“The ultimate aim of this campaign is to get drugs off our streets and to give people the confidence to report drug dealing in their community, and the statistics would suggest that is exactly what’s been happening, which is very encouraging.”
“Local knowledge is crucial in our fight to tackle the scourge of drugs in communities. “We can all play a part in stopping it by reporting drug dealers. We also want those taking drugs, their families or friends, to seek support from local services to make changes before it’s too late.
“Don’t let drugs dealers destroy lives - call Crimestoppers now and help us stop them.”
The Public Health Agency is supporting the campaign, to help raise awareness of the dangers of polydrug misuse. This is the use of multiple substances over a prolonged period, such as mixing alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter medication and illicit drugs, and is becoming more and more common. However, the initiative also aims to highlight that by multiplying your substances you are also multiplying your risk of causing yourself and others harm.
‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care, Do You?’ is part of a Northern Ireland-wide campaign featuring viral videos alongside bus, adshel, online and radio advertising which not only encourages the reporting of drug dealing but also encourages those taking drugs to question their choices and to realise the negative impact that drug use, even recreational, can have on their family, working and social life.
The ‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care, Do You?’ campaign has been developed by Belfast PCSP and supported by a number of partner organisations, including the PSNI, Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSP) and Drug and Alcohol CoordinationTeams (DACTs) across Northern Ireland.
Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton, from the PSNI’s Criminal Investigation Branch, said:
“Our most recent official statistics show the numbers of seizures, arrests and charges brought by PSNI for drug offences are up by more than 10 per cent on the same period last year. This has only been made possible with the support of the community.
“I would like to take this opportunity to warn those who are involved in the supply and sale of any illegal substance that they should be under no illusion as to the commitment and determination of PSNI officers to identify, pursue and arrest anyone suspected of involvement in this criminality and see them convicted of their crimes.
“Police continue to work with communities and partner agencies to keep people and communities safe and this includes taking drugs, and those involved in the sale and supply of drugs, off our streets.
“We will always act on information we receive so today I continue to appeal to communities to call police on 101 with anything they know about drugs or drugs dealers. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100 per cent anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”
Local awareness raising sessions and events which will provide more information on the campaign and how to get involved are also being planned.
More information on the ad campaign is available at www.facebook.com/belfastpcsp
and on the council website at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/drugdealersdontcare
Other PCSPs throughout Northern Ireland will also be rolling out the campaign, which has been part-funded by the Department of Justice.