PSNI to doorstep Rectory drug community within days

SUSPECTED drug dealers in Ballymena's Rectory Estate can expect a knock on the door from the PSNI before the end of this month, the Ballymena Times can reveal.

Acting on concerns aired by community activitists involved in the town’s PACT initiative (Partners and Community Together), local officers will be visiting drugs’ suspects’ in the estate and offering them support services.

Local residents will also be visited by a uniformed neighbourhood police officer and given information on how they can report their suspicions scurely and, if need be, anonymously.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Confirming at Ballymena Police Station on Friday that the initiative is to roll out within days, Inspector Pete Bouma explained: “Suspected offenders will be getting personal visits and offered support, ‘ a way out’, if you like, from drugs.

“But if not taken, they will be warned that they will be searched, arrested and investigated at every lawful opportunity by a number of agencies,” he said.

Inspector Bouma also confirmed that he will be calling at doors in the Rectory in person and handing over informative fliers to residents and a letter of introduction about both himself and the PACT initiative to repeat offenders and suspected drug dealers.

The letter states: “This is your opportunity to engage with our partners and address the issues which cause you to offend. This is your chance to make a difference to your life, your family and the community of Ballymena.

“There are consequences for you should you refuse the support that you are being offered...The pressure we will bring to bear on you will be unrelenting.

“This is your chance for a new start. Take it or face the consequences”.

Inspector Bouma said that the initiative will also involve the deployment of additional uniformed police patrols in the area.

“Our aim is to disrupt drug dealing in the Rectory and, if successful there, it will be extended to other areas,” he said.