Ballymena students have been given a no-holds barred view of the dangers posed by drugs, guns and knife crime during special role playing scenarios last week.
They were playing their part in the‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care, Do You?’ campaign, which has been developed by the Ballymena Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and Crimestoppers.
It 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.
The campaign launch tied in with the PSNI’s ‘Operation Torus’ which is targeted at street level drug dealers.
PSNI Inspector Alison Ferguson said: “Unfortunately since 2002 until 2012, there have been 906 drugs-related deaths across Northern Ireland. This is a sobering statistic. 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.
As part of the event, which was hosted by Slemish College, pupils from all post-primary schools in the Borough heard the drugs message first hand.
Contributors from Dunlewey Substance Misuse Centre, and different PSNI units relayed their messages on the dangers of drugs, weapons and cars, to pupils attending the all-day event.
Young people were also given the chance to participate in fictitious scenarios designed to resemble real life police investigations.
Chairperson of Ballymena PCSP, Councillor James Currie said: “We are delighted to have been able to support such a valuable educational event for young people.”
really must be made aware of the severe dangers of taking these substances and the potentially lethal consequences.The programme achieves not just that but also provides an excellent opportunity for relationships between young people and police to be strengthened.”