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Major Drugs Summit In North Yorkshire

Major Drugs Summit In North Yorkshire

Published by May Norman at 9:47am 12th November 2019. (Updated at 2:29pm 12th November 2019)

A major summit to discuss the growing issues around drugs across North Yorkshire is being held today (Tuesday 12th November).

It has been called for by Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner, to understand the issues caused by illegal drugs across the county which she believes are on the rise.

It follows growing concerns over County Lines drugs gangs operating in places like Harrogate, York and Scarborough.

County lines is the name given to a form of organised crime in which drug dealers from urban areas exploit vulnerable people and force them to deal drugs in smaller towns and cities.

Julia Mulligan wants to see how organisations are tackling the use of illegal drugs across the county.

The police, fire and crime commissioner will present the findings of a recent survey to key partners and agencies involved in addressing the challenges.



Today's Summit, (Tuesday 12th November) will bring together organisations including North Yorkshire Police, the Public Health Team, County Council and Changing Lives.

A survey was launched over the weekend to encourage people to take part, with details on what they have seen and heard taking place where they live.

It also asks about the impact they believe drugs are having in their community and what action was taken by the authorities if it's reported.

The results will be presented by Julia at the Summit so a frank and open discussion can be had about what more can be done by working together.

Julia said:

“There is growing concern about the scale of drug dealing and illegal drug use across North Yorkshire. Young or old, rural or urban, streetwise or not – day in, day out people are telling me they are growing more worried about it, how available they are and how visible it’s become.

The North Yorkshire Drugs Summit is a result of my alarm at the situation we face and the challenge that needs addressing. 

Nearly 2,000 members of the public chose to give their concerns to the survey, run by the Commissioner’s office. Among the results:

  • 84% of those who took part say they are more worried about drugs in their local area than 12 months ago – a third a lot more worried, a half more worried.
  • 66% of those taking part are aware of people dealing drugs in their local and 35% have seen it actually happening in the last month.
  • 78% of all respondents are aware of people taking drugs in their local area and 59% have seen/smelt/found evidence in the last month. 
  • Of those who had seen dealing or taking, over half felt angry, followed by unsafe and annoyed.
    While, 79% didn’t report the dealing and 85% didn’t report seeing/finding evidence of drug taking.

Julia added:

“North Yorkshire has a problem with drugs. It’s important we say that because we can’t deal with the problem before we admit there is one.

Our snapshot survey does not claim to be scientific, but it does show there are real fears and real concerns that we need to address.

The vast majority of people who were concerned enough to take part are more worried about drugs than they were last year, with one in three having seen drug dealing in their community within the last month.

In my view, one of the most troubling results is another finding which shows parents, in particular those of young men, who are concerned about their child being drawn into drugs.

I have absolutely no doubt that organisations on the front line are doing some excellent work, particularly supporting those with serious addictions.

My concern however is that we are collectively underestimating the wider problem, and in particular how it makes people feel and the impact it has on communities.

We need to send a clear message to drug dealers that North Yorkshire is not open for business.  

We also need to continue to  educate young people and the public about the dangers of the drugs trade, not least the human misery and exploitation it causes.

Many will look at somewhere like North Yorkshire and think drugs is not an issue here. They are wrong. We are taking action; but we need to take more. With everyone’s help, and by working together, we will do better.”


There is 1 comment on this page.

JohnfromScarborough, on 12th November 2019 9:47pm
As the survey was anonymous it is a shame that the opportunity was missed to include questions directed at people who identify as illegal drug users. How easy is it obtain drugs where you live, are prices going up or down., do you ever get drugs from someone who looks to be of school age etc.

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