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Drugs disposal bins first for Mid Ulster

Rapid Bin

For the first time in Mid Ulster, three drugs disposal bins have been installed in the Tesco stores in Cookstown, Dungannon and Magherafelt as part of an initiative to take illegal and prescription drugs off our streets.

RAPID stands for Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs and is a community safety initiative between Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), PSNI, PHA, the Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Teams, Start 360 and Tesco’s. The initiative is designed to promote the removal of all prescription medication, illegal drugs and new psychoactive substances from the community.

RAPID was initially piloted in 2010. Since then approximately 90% of the drugs deposited are prescription or over the counter medicines but illegal drugs have been put into the bins too.

The service is completely anonymous and anyone can use the bin to safely dispose of unused or out of date medicines and illegal drugs. The disposal bin will be emptied regularly and the drugs destroyed. No personal details are collected.

Speaking about the initiative, Mid Ulster PCSP Chair, Denise Mullen, said, “We are delighted with the installation of these bins in our three Mid Ulster Tesco stores and are very grateful to Tesco’s for agreeing to host them. I urge the community to make use of these bins. You are legally protected from any investigation or prosecutions. All we want is to have prescribed and illegal drugs disposed of safely.”

Lucinda McGinnis from Start360 said, “We are all aware of the dangers of illegal drugs and the effects these have in communities but prescribed drugs can equally be as dangerous in the wrong hands or if taken with other substances. By allowing the public to dispose of prescription and illegal drugs in these accessible bins, we hope to substantially reduce the amount of drugs available on our streets.”

PSNI Sergeant JP McCartan, said, “The introduction of these drugs disposal bins provides an effective way fo r drugs and harmful substances to be removed from our community. Anyone, whether they be parents, grandparents, siblings or family members, can dispose of items which they believe have the potential to cause harm. By working together, we are giving a clear indication that we do not want drugs on our streets. This initiative provides a real opportunity to reduce the availability of drugs and criminal activity often associated with drug use.”

Darren Mallon spokesperson for Tesco said, “We are delighted to host the first Rapid Bins in Mid Ulster in our three stores in Cookstown, Dungannon and Magherafelt and are proud to work in partnership with our local community and statutory organisations to help take drugs, whether they are illegal or unwanted prescription drugs, off our streets. At Tesco we hope this plays a part in the protection of our customers and colleagues health and wellbeing in the community.”

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