Court orders drugs money to go to HOPE Centre

The Ballymena based HOPE centre became the worthy recipients of £619 of cash as a man was sentenced for robbery and possession of drugs with intent to supply.

A Judge directed that the cash, seized by police during the man’s arrest, should be disposed of by way of a donation to a community group that works in the area of drugs prevention and education.

Detective Sergeant Paul Mercer of Ballymena’s Reducing Offending Unit was clear about where the money should go, he said: “When the judge directed that police should decide where the money went to I knew HOPE would be worthy recipients.

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“As part of my job in reducing offending rates within Ballymena I see the good work that HOPE does with all sections of the community.

“Substance misuse generally has a big role to play in crime and police are fully supportive of the work of HOPE. I was glad to come here today to see Heather and give HOPE the cash to fulfil the direction of the Judge.”

Heather McCalmont was glad to see some cash coming the way of HOPE Centre, she said: “Every little helps when it comes to running our programmes.

“It is a good news story that cash related to the supply of drugs is now diverted into helping and supporting people affected by substance misuse.

“We are keen to develop a drop in coffee shop initiative within the centre where people affected by substance misuse can gather for a chat. The £619 will help us to do that.”