Legal highs concern; 176 seizures of drugs

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POLICE made 176 seizures of controlled drugs in the Coleraine area in the past year - the highest number in the whole of H District.

The overall picture for Coleraine shows that while crime is down by 2.4 per cent overall there is still work for be done in specific areas.

““Behind the numbers lie real people, either committing crime or becoming victims of crime themselves and police officers working with the community and statutory agencies to make Coleraine a safer place for everyone,” said Chief Inspector Nicky Thompson.

Referring to the figures on drugs, Ch Insp Thompson, said: “With the support of the community we have been able to identify individuals who are in possession or concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

“We have carried out proactive search operations and have made effective use of ‘Harley’ the drugs dog. This year we have increased the number of seizures of controlled drugs to 176 - the highest number in H District. Large seizures have been made of drugs such as cannabis, amphetamine and cocaine.

“This year Legal Highs have become an area of concern within the community. We are working in partnership with a number of agencies to address community concerns. Where powers are available, police have carried out proactive operations and we have worked with partner agencies such as Causeway Rural and Urban Network to provide appropriate advice and education to parents who have concerns.”

While occurrences of anti-social behaviour have risen, Ch Insp Thompson said the Neighbourhood Policing Team is working to deliver a problem solving approach to the issue.

The police chief added: “The stats don’t help those who have become a victim of crime across the year. However, I feel positive that Coleraine crime is coming down and we should welcome that. I also know that a significant amount of crime is not yet reported to the police and I hope that as we continue to build public confidence in the service we deliver, the reporting of crime will increase.

“If we don’t know about it we can’t deal with it nor can we protect and support victims and prevent future victimisation”.