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Importance of RAPID bins highlighted ahead of festive season

05 December 2019

As Operation Season’s Greetings gets underway in Derry City and Strabane, police and partners are highlighting the importance of the RAPID bins located throughout the District.  

RAPID stands for Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs and is a community safety initiative designed to promote the removal of all prescription medication and illegal drugs. The service is completely anonymous and anyone can use the bins to safely dispose of unused or out of date medicines and illegal drugs.  The bins are emptied regularly and the drugs destroyed.

Just this week, officers from Ballyarnett Neighbourhood Team discovered a set of digital scales and a bag of powder in one of the bins.

Neighbourhood Sergeant McCollum said: “Whether this was a concerned parent, partner or friend or disposed of by the owner themselves, we would like to reassure you that the items will be destroyed and no further action taken. The bins are an important part of our partnership response to reduce the negative impact of substance abuse and tackle harm and criminality within the community.”

Councillor Sandra Duffy, Chair of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership, commented: “This deposit shows the effectiveness of having the RAPID drugs bins located in our communities. Since their installation in October 2018, over 26,000 prescription tablets and capsules have been removed from use.  

“I am delighted that our partnership with police and Public Health Agency has enabled us to install 13 of these bins across the city and district and I am encouraged by their usage by our community. This initiative shows tangible delivery on the action in the Ballyarnett Local Growth Plan that ‘we live in safer communities.’ I would encourage the public to continue to avail of this initiative which is totally anonymous.” 

The bins are located in the following locations: Bishop Street Community Centre; Old Library Trust; Gasyard Centre; Hamilton’s Spar, Castlederg; McKenna’s Spar, Sion Mills; Northside shopping centre; Shantallow Community Residents Association; HURT offices, Clarendon Street; Ballymagroarty/Hazelbank Community Partnership; Haughey’s Costcutter, Strabane; Tescos, Lisnagelvin.