Pictured are: Diane Coulter – Chairman, Kilkeel Development Association; Donna McConnell – Chief Executive, Kilkeel Development Association; Ciara Doris – Start 360; Const. Warren Roberts & Const. Graeme Offor – South Down Neighbourhood Policing Team; Andrew Kernaghan – Kilkeel Development Association; Sgt Sam Bollard – Community Planning, PSNI; Sidney McKee – Kilkeel Development Association ; Cllr Robert Burgess - Chair of Newry, Mourne & Down PCSP; Cllr Brian Quinn – Newry, Mourne & Down PCSP

An initiative known as RAPID (Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs), which is helping to remove prescription and illegal drugs from our streets by providing drug disposal bins, has been launched at the Nautilus Centre, Kilkeel. 

RAPID was initially piloted in 2010 and due to the success of the joint health and community safety initiative; further bins have been installed throughout Northern Ireland in partnership with key statutory, community and voluntary groups. Since 2010, over 100,000 tablets have been deposited in Belfast RAPID bins alone. Ninety per cent of the drugs handed in are prescription or over the counter medicines but illegal drugs have also been deposited.

The Public Health Agency (PHA), the Southern Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team (SDACT) and the PSNI have been working closely with Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to identify and work with communities and businesses within their catchment areas to benefit from taking part in the initiative and having a RAPID drug disposal bin installed. Kilkeel Development Association (KDA) are the first in the district to assist with this Project. 

Diane Coulter, Chairman of Diane Coulter stated: As an organisation we are delighted to be supporting this initiative and working in partnership with the PHA, PSNI and local PCSP. This initiative fits well with the KDA project ‘Mourne Matters’ focusing on mental health awareness and wellbeing services being delivering within  the Kilkeel and the Mourne’s Area. The RAPID bin is located at the Nautilus Centre to the rear back car park on the left as you enter the gate. This is a discrete location and thus protects privacy.  This is available 24hours – 7days a week.  Kelly Gilliland at the PHA, said: “Alcohol and drug misuse is a common issue and sadly causes suffering and tragedy to individuals, families and communities.

“This is a simple but powerful health intervention and we very much welcome the installation of the new RAPID bin in Kilkeel. All of the partners are keen that the RAPID initiative is further developed and expanded over coming years with further bins installed, enabling more people and communities to learn more about the risks and dangers of drug misuse and to dispose of unwanted drugs easily and discreetly.”

RAPID HAS THREE AIMS:

  • Removal of prescription, illegal and new psychoactive substances. 
  • Provision of information and support to individuals, families, local businesses and community organisations to raise awareness of the effects and risks of using/misusing illegal and/or prescription drugs.  
  • Bringing together community and statutory agencies, local businesses and the general public under the RAPID initiative to work towards making their local community a safer place to live.

Ciara Doris of the Southern DACT Connections Service, Start360 said: “We are delighted to be involved in the RAPID partnership and we welcome the further roll out of the bins in the Council area. I have no doubt they will be a great success”.

For more information on existing RAPID bins and/or how to contact your local Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams or the Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) please visit: www.drugsandalcoholni.info/RAPID