Story

Blaenau Gwent based project benefits from Commissioner's award

Published: 25.06.2013

 

A Blaenau Gwent-based community project that has commissioned a film to warn youngsters of the dangers of Mephedrone has received a cheque for £5000 from Ian Johnston, Gwent's Police and Crime Commissioner.

The award was made from the Gwent Police Property Fund which is raised from the sale of property and cash seized from criminals, as well as the disposal of unclaimed lost property.

PACE (Partners and Communities Engaging) which is made up of various community representatives as well as local police in the Blaenau Gwent area, has put in place a range of initiatives which explores issues around Mephedrone use. As well as commissioning the film, called "The Good Drug Dealer", the project will create an accompanying education package as well as helping to provide training for best use of the package by teachers, youth workers and police within existing drug education programmes.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, said:

"I'm delighted that money from the Property Fund is being made available to worthwhile causes like this one. Reducing mephedrone use locally will reduce drug- related crime and anti-social behaviour. This is a real community effort and I very much look forward to seeing the film and the on going results of the PACE project,"

Blaenau Gwent Councillor John Morgan, said: "We'd like to thank Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, for making this money available to the PACE project.

"In Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly council, we are proactively working together with the police and our communities to educate young people about the dangers and consequences of drugs."

Notes to Editors:

PACE consists of Councillors, officers and Local Education Authorities of Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Councils; Gwent Police; Tai Calon Community Housing; Communities First Tredegar; Alun Davies AM and Sarah Thomas, Children in Wales. In order to establish the extent of the issue of mephedrone use in Blaenau Gwent discussions were held at four different locations across Blaenau-Gwent with groups of around a dozen 15/16 year olds. The findings found: at least 40% of 15/16 year olds said they had tried the drug - each group could identify at least 25 regular users within their peers; the drug has an image of being a teenage "fun" drug being used by 11-20 year olds; more teenage girls use this drug than any other in the past and dealing is far more open than ever before; communication technology is facilitating drug distribution and use; a lack of knowledge of the long term effects of the drug coupled with low levels of self awareness can lead to addiction issues and, finally, teenagers are using cannabis in conjunction with mephedrone.