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Drugs amnesty launched in Colchester
6:00am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
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.”
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