Belfast Telegraph

Tesco installs three bins for disposal of illegal drugs in Northern Ireland

By Claire Williamson

Three drugs disposal bins have been installed in the Tesco stores in Cookstown, Dungannon and Magherafelt as part of an initiative to remove illegal and prescription drugs from our streets.

RAPID (Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs) 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.

The initiative is designed to promote the removal of all prescription medication, illegal drugs and new psychoactive substances from 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The service is completely anonymous and anyone can use the bins to safely dispose of unused or out of date medicines and illegal drugs.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 disposal bin will be emptied regularly and the drugs destroyed. No personal details are collected.

PSNI Sergeant JP McCartan said: "The introduction of these drugs disposal bins provides an effective way for 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."

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 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 support service Start 360, said: "We are all aware of the dangers of illegal drugs and the effects these have in communities, but prescribed drugs can be equally 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."

Tesco spokesman Darren Mallon said they were delighted to host the first Rapid Bins in Mid Ulster 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".

Belfast Telegraph

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