Drugs amnesty launched in Colchester

Gazette: Nick Alston Nick Alston

A DRUGS amnesty has been launched in Colchester in a bid to encourage drug users to see the error of their ways.

The initiative has been launched in Colchester town centre and the first run has been described as a success.

As part of the special operation, drug amnesty bins were positioned on the streets outside popular nightspots.

Body language experts were also used to help catch drug dealers.

Watching and waiting behavioural detection officers, who are trained to spot suspicious behaviour, were part of the team along with drug detection dogs.

The idea is those carrying drugs for personal use realise their mistakes and drop the illegal substances in the bins.

If they don’t, they face being arrested, but the main targets are the dealers – and they are not getting second chances. Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston joined officers for the operation in Colchester.

He said: “The bins are only used in conjunction with a police operation.

They work alongside behavioural detection officers and drug dogs trained to detect the substances.

“It can be an efficient system.

“This gives people the choice to get rid and is a really good way of catching hardcore drug pushers.”

Essex Police would not reveal details about how many items were dropped in the bin or how many drug dealers were caught in the sting when questioned by the Gazette.

However, the scheme has still won support from politicians and community representatives in the town.

Sir Bob Russell, Colchester’s MP, said: “I follow the judgement of Essex Police on this and anything which takes drugs off the streets has my backing.

“Taking drugs, which are not prescribed, is absolutely wrong because of the costs to the individual, their families and society in general.”

Tim Young, councillor responsible for community safety, added his support. He said: “I want to see drug amnesty bins used more regularly. It is not the users who are the real problem, but the dealers.”

Comments (5)

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9:48am Wed 18 Dec 13

wormshero says...

I'm not a user of any banned (or prescription, actually) drugs but I do wish the police would use their resources to catch criminals who affect others rather than on a pointless war on drugs. I notice that Bob Russel's statement also works as " is absolutely wrong because of the costs to the individual, their families and society in general.” I'd much rather the police be out detering violence and walking the streets where there has been an increase on violent crime or rapes than taking the easy option of stopping fairly harmless substances being taken. Yes, some do cause harm, but that's thanks to prohibition meaning these are in the hands of criminals who will cut or use more dangerous chemicals to boost profits.
I'm not a user of any banned (or prescription, actually) drugs but I do wish the police would use their resources to catch criminals who affect others rather than on a pointless war on drugs. I notice that Bob Russel's statement also works as "[alcohol] is absolutely wrong because of the costs to the individual, their families and society in general.” I'd much rather the police be out detering violence and walking the streets where there has been an increase on violent crime or rapes than taking the easy option of stopping fairly harmless substances being taken. Yes, some do cause harm, but that's thanks to prohibition meaning these are in the hands of criminals who will cut or use more dangerous chemicals to boost profits. wormshero

9:50am Wed 18 Dec 13

wormshero says...

Besides, if you so choose to bin a drug you'd brought, why would you choose to use a specific police bin over a regular one.
Besides, if you so choose to bin a drug you'd brought, why would you choose to use a specific police bin over a regular one. wormshero

12:31pm Wed 18 Dec 13

zt00013 says...

Nick Alston should present a clear and rational argument, that is supported by robust evidence, that explains why alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are permissible and all other recreational drugs are bad and thus their use morally reprehensible.

In reality this is impossible and anyone with knowledge on the topic will know as much. This policy is almost laughable were it not testament to the ignorance and rank hypocrisy of the Police Force and the huge damage they do to my fellow Brits everyday when they wage the war on drugs.

Prohibition must end.
Nick Alston should present a clear and rational argument, that is supported by robust evidence, that explains why alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are permissible and all other recreational drugs are bad and thus their use morally reprehensible. In reality this is impossible and anyone with knowledge on the topic will know as much. This policy is almost laughable were it not testament to the ignorance and rank hypocrisy of the Police Force and the huge damage they do to my fellow Brits everyday when they wage the war on drugs. Prohibition must end. zt00013

3:41pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Dr Martin says...

zt00013 wrote:
Nick Alston should present a clear and rational argument, that is supported by robust evidence, that explains why alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are permissible and all other recreational drugs are bad and thus their use morally reprehensible.

In reality this is impossible and anyone with knowledge on the topic will know as much. This policy is almost laughable were it not testament to the ignorance and rank hypocrisy of the Police Force and the huge damage they do to my fellow Brits everyday when they wage the war on drugs.

Prohibition must end.
my fellow Brits you mean 2.5 million stoners
[quote][p][bold]zt00013[/bold] wrote: Nick Alston should present a clear and rational argument, that is supported by robust evidence, that explains why alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are permissible and all other recreational drugs are bad and thus their use morally reprehensible. In reality this is impossible and anyone with knowledge on the topic will know as much. This policy is almost laughable were it not testament to the ignorance and rank hypocrisy of the Police Force and the huge damage they do to my fellow Brits everyday when they wage the war on drugs. Prohibition must end.[/p][/quote]my fellow Brits you mean 2.5 million stoners Dr Martin

1:22pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Dr Martin says...

wormshero wrote:
I'm not a user of any banned (or prescription, actually) drugs but I do wish the police would use their resources to catch criminals who affect others rather than on a pointless war on drugs. I notice that Bob Russel's statement also works as " is absolutely wrong because of the costs to the individual, their families and society in general.” I'd much rather the police be out detering violence and walking the streets where there has been an increase on violent crime or rapes than taking the easy option of stopping fairly harmless substances being taken. Yes, some do cause harm, but that's thanks to prohibition meaning these are in the hands of criminals who will cut or use more dangerous chemicals to boost profits.
War on drugs is not pointless
[quote][p][bold]wormshero[/bold] wrote: I'm not a user of any banned (or prescription, actually) drugs but I do wish the police would use their resources to catch criminals who affect others rather than on a pointless war on drugs. I notice that Bob Russel's statement also works as "[alcohol] is absolutely wrong because of the costs to the individual, their families and society in general.” I'd much rather the police be out detering violence and walking the streets where there has been an increase on violent crime or rapes than taking the easy option of stopping fairly harmless substances being taken. Yes, some do cause harm, but that's thanks to prohibition meaning these are in the hands of criminals who will cut or use more dangerous chemicals to boost profits.[/p][/quote]War on drugs is not pointless Dr Martin

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