Public can help put the drug dealers away
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.