Published Monday, 24 February 2014
Cllr Pat Convery, Debbie Waters (Policing Board) & Det Ch Supt Roy McComb. (© UTV)
The 'Drug Dealers Don't Care, Do You?' campaign has been developed by the Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and Crimestoppers and will be on billboards, buses and taxis across Belfast, as well as on radio, online and social media.
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 also looks at the devastating impact of drugs on communities and families.
SDLP Belfast Councillor Pat Convery, a member of the Belfast 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 in partnership with Crimestoppers 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."
Monday's campaign launch ties in with the PSNI's 'Operation Torus' which is targeted at street level drug dealers.
PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Roy McComb added: "Today's launch of the 'Drugs Dealers Don't Care, Do You?' multi-agency campaign is a reflection of how closely both statutory and voluntary agencies are working together to remove drugs from our streets.
"The Police Service of Northern Ireland will be running Operation Torus to coincide with the campaign, targeting street level drug dealers.
"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.
"If you see or know of anyone who is dealing drugs in your local area, then contact your local police on 0845 600 8000 or alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and pass on any details that you may have."
The campaign is also focusing on the increasing use of so-called 'legal highs'.
Recently Belfast councillors agreed a motion noting their concern about the sale and use of these psychoactive substances and paid tribute to organisations in the city who are working hard to tackle drug-use in communities.
Last week, Belfast City Council took successful legal action against a city centre shop that was found to be selling products containing psychoactive substances.
A court granted a forfeiture order, allowing the council to destroy products seized from the Gresham Street store last November.
© UTV News