Pub­lic can help put the drug deal­ers away

The Oban Times - - News - By Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Grant Man­ders, com­man­der of L Di­vi­sion.

IT SEEMS like ev­ery other week there’s an­other story in the papers about a young­ster dy­ing af­ter tak­ing so-called ‘party drugs’ or ‘le­gal highs’.

The lat­est one to stick in my mind re­lated to a 15-year-old girl and took place re­cently in West Loth­ian. Such a tragic waste of a very young life.

But we’ve had our own tragedies closer to home in very sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances. I can’t go into de­tail about the cases be­cause there are still in­ves­ti­ga­tions or pro­ceed­ings tak­ing place but I can tell you that when I read the state­ments I was struck by the sheer depth of the ef­fect on the fam­i­lies and friends left be­hind.

Grief that may di­min­ish over the years but will never go away came through in ev­ery state­ment.

I’m sure ev­ery teenager has read or heard about the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of tak­ing drugs, but of­ten they think that they know bet­ter – some of them gen­uinely be­lieve that the bad stuff will never hap­pen to them, that th­ese drugs are harm­less and just a bit of fun.

I can tell th­ese young peo­ple that all too of­ten the bad stuff can and does hap­pen to peo­ple just like them, and the con­se­quences for whole fam­i­lies are cer­tainly not just a bit of fun.

We’ll keep try­ing but, sadly, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to stop all young peo­ple from ex­per­i­ment­ing with drugs. How­ever, we can do some­thing about the sick in­di­vid­u­als who ex­ploit youth and waste lives by sell­ing the poi­son.

And that’s why I make no apolo­gies for do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to put the drug deal­ers be­hind bars. Last year we locked up 237 deal­ers in Ar­gyll and Bute and West Dun­bar­ton­shire. This year it will be around 260. And I’d be happy if we locked up even more next year.

We have also taken hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds away from th­ese same in­di­vid­u­als – ei­ther in cash or as­sets like cars, TVs, watches or even houses.

We can’t and don’t do this in iso­la­tion. We need you to talk to your kids about drugs. We need our young­sters to un­der­stand the dan­gers and be­lieve that drugs are harm­ful, whether they are le­gal or not. We need them to stand up to peer pres­sure and not take risks.

We need your help to take th­ese killer drugs in all their guises, in­clud­ing the so-called le­gal highs, off our streets. We need you to tell us who the deal­ers are. We need your help.

You can give in­for­ma­tion about drug deal­ers in con­fi­dence by calling Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111. You have my as­sur­ance that we will act on the in­for­ma­tion we re­ceive.

Chief Supt Grant Man­ders.

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