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Safer Streets Night of Action raises awareness on the dangers of drug use

Newark night of action

Sergeant Rob Harrison, Detective Constable Colin Howes PCSO Eleanor Smalley (Safer Streets Project Manager) and Caroline Henry.

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry gave her support as Newark and Sherwood District Council partnered up with Nottinghamshire Police to raise awareness about the dangers of Cocaethylene, as part of the Safer Streets scheme.

Officers from the District Council’s Public Protection team worked with Police colleagues in Newark town centre, speaking to visitors, handing out leaflets, and putting up informational posters in local licensed properties during the evening on Saturday 4 March.

The recent operation follows a successful Night of Action during December in which over 250 educational leaflets were handed out and 60 people agreed to take part in a questionnaire, with 90% of respondents admitting a lack of knowledge surrounding the increased dangers of Cocaethylene.

Cocaethylene is a dangerous chemical that our bodies create when alcohol and cocaine are taken together. This can have dangerous effects including:

  • An increase in violent and impulsive behaviours
  • A decrease in sexual performance
  • An increased chance of seizures, heart attacks, and strokes
  • Liver damage
  • Sudden death - Death is 20 times more likely when mixing alcohol and cocaine than when using cocaine alone

The recent Nights of Action were organised as part of the Safer Streets scheme, in which Newark and Sherwood District Council, Nottinghamshire Police, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) are working in partnership to tackle neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour and prevent violence against women and girls. 

The project has also recently funded new security gating at St Mark’s Place and new doorway security at Queen’s Court, Tithe Barn, and Lover’s Lane. 

Councillor Roger Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Cleaner, Safer, Greener at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “These Nights of Action are a great example of how important it is to raise awareness of the dangers of drug use, and I’m pleased to see that there was an increase in the awareness of these dangers since the previous event.

“Cocaethylene is not only harmful to the individuals drinking and using cocaine together but can also put those around them at risk We work hard to help residents feel safe in our community and being educated about the dangerous and harmful consequences of Cocaethylene is one of the ways we can ensure that.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, who went out to support the event in Newark, said: “It was great to see people enjoying a night out in Newark and people really seemed to take the message on board.

“We want our towns and cities to be safe places for all, and partnership events like this show just how seriously we all take public safety. By raising awareness of Cocaethylene we hope to help reduce violence and other harms it can cause.”

Inspector Matthew Ward, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: “Working together with the council on these nights of action is so important to highlight the dangers of drug use, the devastating consequences they can have on someone and hopefully make people think twice about mixing cocaine and alcohol. 

“We are taking action against drug dealers daily, in a variety of different ways. But it is equally important to educate those using cocaine and alcohol with the knowledge of its effects.

“As well as speaking with those enjoying our night-time economy, we are working with licensed premises and handing out posters and leaflets alongside outreach workers from drugs services.

“As police officers, we have first-hand experience of dealing with the effects of drugs on people and the wider community, so working with our partners and managers of venues is incredibly important.

“It’s great that thanks to our other nights of action awareness has increased relating to the dangers of drug use.

“Being a police officer isn’t just about arresting people or picking up the pieces after an incident – it’s so important for us to also educate people and help them, which is why nights like this are so important so we can try and prevent the crimes before they’ve even happened.”

Posted on Monday 13th March 2023
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