26,000 black market prescription tablets dumped in Derry drug drop bins

Over 26,000 black market prescription tablets have been dumped in drug drop bins across Derry and Strabane in just over a year, it's been revealed.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 10:46 am
The set of digital scales and bag of powder left in a RAPID bin this week.

Thirteen RAPID - Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs - disposal bins were installed at various locations in October 2018 with the aim of taking prescription medication and illegal drugs off the streets.

Just this week, officers from Ballyarnett Neighbourhood Team discovered a set of digital scales and a bag of powder in one of the bins.

Neighbourhood Sergeant McCollum said: “Whether this was a concerned parent, partner or friend or disposed of by the owner themselves, we would like to reassure you that the items will be destroyed and no further action taken.

"The bins are an important part of our partnership response to reduce the negative impact of substance abuse and tackle harm and criminality within the community.”

The service is completely anonymous and anyone can use the bins to safely dispose of unused or out of date medicines and illegal drugs.

The bins are emptied regularly and the drugs destroyed.

Councillor Sandra Duffy, Chair of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership, commented: “This deposit shows the effectiveness of having the RAPID drugs bins located in our communities. Since their installation in October 2018, over 26,000 prescription tablets and capsules have been removed from use.

“I am delighted that our partnership with police and Public Health Agency has enabled us to install 13 of these bins across the city and district and I am encouraged by their usage by our community. This initiative shows tangible delivery on the action in the Ballyarnett Local Growth Plan that ‘we live in safer communities.’ I would encourage the public to continue to avail of this initiative which is totally anonymous.”

The bins are located in the following locations: Bishop Street Community Centre; Old Library Trust; Gasyard Centre; Hamilton’s Spar, Castlederg; McKenna’s Spar, Sion Mills; Northside shopping centre; Shantallow Community Residents Association; HURT offices, Clarendon Street; Ballymagroarty/Hazelbank Community Partnership; Haughey’s Costcutter, Strabane; Tescos, Lisnagelvin.