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Award for group set up to tackle substance abuse and anti-social behaviour in Wrexham

An initiative aimed at reducing the impact of new psychoactive substances on users and residents in the town centre has been commended.

The NPS (new psychoactive substances) Taskforce was set up after images of ‘Spice’ usage in the town’s bus station and surrounding areas made national headlines – including Wrexham being branded a ‘druggy town’ by one publication.

In 2016 new legislation was introduced to specifically focus on tackling the sale, production and misuse of substances such as ‘Spice’ and ‘Mamba’

Previously such substances, which were also rebranded as NPS could be purchased openly in shops or online. However under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 those found producing, supplying and importing NPS risk imprisonment.

In a bid to tackle support users and tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour and negative public perceptions, a multi-agency task group consisting of the public and private sectors was created.

The challenge was how to integrate services to understand and address complex issues from a cohort of chaotic individuals with substance and alcohol dependencies.

Now the work of the task force has been celebrated at the North Wales Police Problem Orientated Partnerships (POP), with the group securing joint third place.

The awards celebrate initiatives from across the Force area which have showcased proactive partnership working to develop solutions to underlying conditions contributing to public safety problems.

Speaking after the awards, Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Neill Anderson said: “Problem solving has long been instrumental in the way that we work and is a fundamental skill required from our Police Officers, Police Staff and Volunteers.

“Due to the significant pressures that our respective organisations are under, it is more important than ever that we work closer together to share ideas and better ways of working.

“Partnership working is not just about reducing demand or saving money, it is about a collaborative approach to solving those issues which matter most to the people we are here to help.

“I would like to congratulate all of the finalists, who have all showcased examples of agencies working together to develop solutions to problems and have made a real and positive impact to our communities in making North Wales a safer place to live, work and visit.”

More information about the awards and the winners can be found on the North Wales Police website.

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