A new initiative has been launched in Seymour Hill aimed at removing illegal and prescription drugs from the streets.
A RAPID (Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs) drug disposal safe has been installed outside the shops at Rowan Drive as part of a community safety project involving Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP, PSNI, Seymour Hill and Conway Community Association, the Dales Community Association and ASCERT.
The initiative is designed to promote the removal of all prescription medication, illegal drugs and new psychoactive substances (so-called legal highs) from the community.
The PCSP has previously installed drugs disposal bins at Laganview Enterprise Centre, Lisburn and the Spar Shop, Ballybeen, Dundonald.
The service is completely anonymous and the bin can be used by anyone in the community to safely dispose of any unused or out of date medicines, illegal drugs or legal highs. All individuals depositing drugs in the disposal safe are legally protected from further investigation or prosecution.
The disposal bin will be emptied regularly and the drugs will be destroyed. No personal details are collected. Substances may be tested by the Forensic Service of Northern Ireland to identify them and to assess their toxicity quality. The results of all the disposals will be reported back to the community through the PCSP, both community associations and ASCERT.
Speaking about the initiative, PCSP Chairman, Alderman Michael Henderson said: “I welcome the installation of this bin in Seymour Hill which was initiated by the local community. We are all aware of the dangers of illegal drugs and the effects that these have in communities but prescribed drugs can equally be as dangerous in the wrong hands or if taken with other substances. I would urge the community to make use of this new facility in Seymour Hill. It is free from any investigations or prosecutions and this initiative is designed to dispose of prescribed and illegal drugs safely.”
The PSNI District Commander for Lisburn and Castlereagh, Superintendent Sean Wright commented: “The introduction of this drugs bin should prove to be an effective way for drugs and harmful substances to be removed from the community. It will provide a channel for individuals, whether they are concerned parents, grandparents, siblings or family members to dispose of items which they believe have the potential to cause harm, completely anonymously.
“By allowing the public to dispose of prescription and illegal drugs in the accessible bins the amount of drugs available on the streets will be reduced. By working together, we are all giving a clear sign to those involved with drugs that they do not want them on the streets. This will provide a real opportunity to reduce the availability of drugs and crimes often associated with drug use.”
Billy Smith, Chairman of Seymour Hill and Conway Community Association commented: “On behalf of my community association I am delighted with this initiative and would encourage the local community to make good use of this drugs disposal bin. When the local community work together with statutory organisations this can lead to a safer community for everyone.”
Alison Armstrong from ASCERT added: “It’s important to do whatever we can to take drugs off the street. People are generally not aware of the dangers of drugs, both illegal and prescription medication. If you have medication in your house that is no longer needed or is out of date, it’s time for a spring clean.”
*The bin is not suitable for the disposal of used needles. Contact the drugs outreach team on 0800 2545123 to arrange collection of needles or to speak to the needle exchange team.