Ongoing work to tackle legal highs

10 Feb 2016 15:13 PM

Drugs dog 2 [View Full Size]

Police in Newcastle city centre have been working with staff from sheltered accommodation premises in the area to tackle drug and 'legal high' misuse.

Historically there have been issues and concerns raised about drug taking and anti-social behaviour connected to those staying in some of the sheltered accommodation premises across the city.

To tackle this officers from the city centre team have been working together with staff to tackle the issue.

PC Ian Copeland from the City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team works closely with the staff from a number of the premises in the city and recently organised for Police Dog Handler PC Dale James and his Labrador Bailey to visit and search a number of the buildings for any illegal substances.

PD Bailey carried out checks of over 50 rooms and communal areas during his visit to the city and although nothing was found, the exercise was valuable and helped send a message out to those staying there.

City Centre Neighbourhood Inspector said: "My team has an excellent relationship with the organisations that run the accommodation premises in the city and works closely with the staff and clients to divert young people away from crime and disorder. 

"Although nothing was found on this occasion, the visit of PD Bailey was very useful and he will be visiting again in the near future. Utilising the skills of PD Bailey is only one tool we can use to tackle the misuse of drugs and other forms of anti-social behaviour. Like in a lot of situations, it is a small minority who spoil it for the rest.

"Legal highs in particular are a real concern for us at the minute and we are working with our partners to do all we can to clamp down on them."

A spokesperson on behalf of one of the accommodation premises that we visited said : "We are pleased to work closely with Northumbria Police and Ian Copeland and his team in reducing the impact of anti social behaviour on the service and the local community, and especially in reducing drug and legal high misuse amongst a small  number of our clients.

"We are committed to helping all of our clients stay clear of illegal drugs and legal highs, and having PD Bailey operating in the service is a strong reminder of that. Our goal is to work with our clients to increase their independent living skills, reduce ASB and substance misuse, and to help them to become fully integrated into the local community, free from drug dependency."