Drugs focus for police

THE use of illegal substances will become top policing priority for members of Chapel-en-le-Frith and Chinley Safer Neighbourhood Team after concerns were raised by residents.

Members of the public said they were concerned about what they believed were young people using illegal substances, often in open areas.

The concerns were raised at the Safer Neighbourhood Team’s last public forum meeting and will be the team’s focus for the next three months.

Increased patrols at key times and stop searches will be carried out in Chapel and Chinley as part of the crackdown, and positive engagement and enforcement where necessary will also take place.

Officers will also work with parish councils, schools and the Youth Service to raise awareness of the effects of drug misuse and what support is available.

Police will keep residents up-to-date about the issue, as well as encouraging people to report any suspicious behaviour immediately by calling 101.

PC Andrew Crosthwaite, from the Safer Neighbourhood team, said: “The first task we will have is assessing the situation, as it may be different to what members of the public perceive to be the problem. But the simple fact is that we won’t tolerate this kind of behaviour on our doorstep and we’ll make every effort to stop it.”

The previous priority was tackling anti-social behaviour in Chapel town centre, especially around the Memorial Park. That saw officers boosting patrols, seizing alcohol from underage drinkers and advising youngsters about the consequences of nuisance behaviour.