Police vow ‘immediate action’ on tackling drugs

Police are set to take immediate action in combatting the problem of drugs in Banbridge.

At the recent meeting of the Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) Inspector Nigel Graham who has recently taken up post as the Banbridge and Gilford Area Neighbourhood Team inspector, said:

“The immediate focus is on drugs, criminal activity and anti-social behaviour but in a few months, I will consider supporting diversionary activity with local young people. The community have a key role to play in helping to address local issues by reporting - we are very pro-active and robust in dealing with the information that we receive but this information needs to be factual.”

Local residents who attended public meeting were able to raise a number of key issues and concerns with the new PSNI Neighbourhood inspector and sergeant for the area. These included the vulnerability of young people to drugs and the devastating impact on their families; anti-social behaviour in the town centre and local housing estates; the presence of the local police at key times and in key locations to help address these issues, and the frustration at an apparent lack of response when incidents are reported to the police.

Cllr Junior McCrum, Chairman of Banbridge PCSP, commented, “This was always going to be an emotive meeting given what has happened in the town over the last week but it was useful for local people to meet with local police and discuss what they felt were the issues and what could be done. We are fortunate that there are a range of local partners such as REACT within the Banbridge District who have the expertise to support young people and their families on these specific issues.”

Mr Jonathan Murphy, Banbridge PCSP Vice-Chair, said: “One of the key messages is for people to report to the police – either directly to local officers or using the police non-emergency number 0845 600 8000; or indirectly via local councillors, community leaders or through CrimeStoppers which is a free phone number. There are a number of actions coming out of this meeting and we would invite you to come along to a follow-up meeting at the start of January to hear about what’s been done with your support.”

For further information about Banbridge PCSP, please contact the staffing team on 028 4062 0248 or email: pcsp@banbridge.gov.uk

You can call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 to pass on information about crime.