Campaign targets drug dealers

Elaine Manson (left), PCSP Manager and Mrs Joan Cosgrove, PCSP independent member, launch the 'Drug Dealers Don't Care, Do You?' campaign in Newtownabbey. INNT 10-505CON
Elaine Manson (left), PCSP Manager and Mrs Joan Cosgrove, PCSP independent member, launch the 'Drug Dealers Don't Care, Do You?' campaign in Newtownabbey. INNT 10-505CON

Communities hold the key to helping take drug dealers off our streets. That’s the message of a new hard-hitting campaign launched by Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

The ‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care, Do You?’ campaign, developed in association with Crimestoppers, is aimed at tackling the issues of drugs and drug dealing in communities across the borough. It is also being rolled out in other areas across Northern Ireland.

Locally, the campaign images will appear on buses, billboards and adshels. It will be highlighted in newspapers, on the radio and a viral video will be used online.

The campaign aims to highlight the fact that very often individual members of a community are the ones with the knowledge which could help tackle the increasing problem of both illegal drugs and ‘legal highs’, and hopes to encourage more people to report drug-related activity in their area. It also looks at the devastating impact of drugs on communities and families.

Mrs Joan Cosgrove, an independent member of Newtownabbey PCSP, said: “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. The police and other agencies are doing their utmost to tackle the scourge of drugs, but information and local knowledge are key. We’re launching this campaign to encourage people to report anything they’re aware of to do with drugs or drug dealing in their communities, and reminding them that they can do this in complete confidence and anonymously if they wish.”

PSNI Area Commander for Newtownabbey, Chief Inspector Stephen Reid, added: “This campaign is a reflection of how closely both statutory and voluntary agencies are working together to remove drugs from our streets. The police will be running Operation Torus to coincide with the campaign, targeting street level drug dealers.

“Unfortunately since 2002 until 2012, there have been 906 drug-related deaths across Northern Ireland. We want to see the number of people harmed by drugs reduced to zero. However, we cannot do this alone; we need the help of all the communities.”

Police are urging anyone with information about drug dealing to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.