Cheshire police are launching a thought-provoking campaign targeting recreational drug users ahead of the highly anticipated football World Cup – which is set to kick off this Sunday 20 November.
The campaign calls out recreational drug users’ perceptions that they aren’t causing harm to others by taking drugs and shares the very real consequences that taking drugs can cause – something officers see all too often on the streets of Cheshire.
It is hoped the campaign educates people who take drugs recreationally that there is no such thing as ‘just a line’ and there is so much more behind the scenes of their recreational drug use.
Superintendent Gareth Wrigley, force lead for recreational drugs, said: “Drugs can change even the mildest mannered of people, and we often see a correlation between people acting out of control and drug use. Unfortunately, it can often be innocent bystanders who bear the brunt of this out-of-control behaviour.
“Road users’ lives are put at risk every time someone chooses to get behind the wheel after taking drugs, and innocent people can receive serious or fatal injuries as a result of these selfish and reckless decisions.”
Throughout the football World Cup, hard-hitting messages will be issued on social media to make anyone who is contemplating taking drugs recreationally to think again. There will also be officers out and about looking for anyone who chooses to do so – and they will take action.
Superintendent Wrigley added:
“We often hear members of the public questioning why we spend our time targeting drug users, as there is this perception that they are only harming themselves by taking drugs. I cannot stress this enough – this is absolutely not true.
“Organised crime gangs are often involved in the supply or dealing of class A drugs. Behind the scenes of recreational drug use is child exploitation, the use of weapons and horrific violence, modern slavery, money laundering and human trafficking.
“It’s only a line – right? Wrong. Just because you may not feel the effects of this personally, or even within some of your communities, there are vulnerable people, families and communities who absolutely do feel the wrath of organised criminals.
“If we can educate people not to take drugs recreationally, it can help us in our bid to disrupt and dismantle organised crime gangs from supplying and operating in Cheshire. If people decide to do it anyway, then they will be dealt with.”
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “People need to be aware of the wider impact of drugs on their community and vulnerable people across the county, and it’s right for the Constabulary to highlight this as we approach the World Cup.
“Behind every use of recreational drugs is a history of exploitation and abuse. It’s simply not true that drug use only affects the people taking them, and it’s absolutely never ‘just a line.’
“Organised Crime Groups operating in Cheshire need to be broken up, and it’s by educating people on the impact and consequences of drug use that we’ll make this happen.”