08/01/2019

Belfast Hit By 10 Drug-Related Deaths In December

The last month has seen 10 suspected drug-related deaths in the greater Belfast area, sparking concern across the community.

PSNI Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton said while the cause of death is not definitively known, the use of illicit or prescription drugs may have been a factor.

Sinn Fein MLA Orlaithí Flynn expressed worry at the spate of suspected drug related fatalities, and offered her condolences to those affected.

"News that ten people have died as a result of drug abuse in the greater Belfast area over the Christmas period is shocking and very concerning," the west Belfast MLA said. 

"My thoughts are with all of those touched by these deaths and their families. 

"It is a stark reminder of the dangers of the abuse of drugs in our society. 
News Image
"I would appeal to anyone who is concerned about their own drug use or that of others and those worried they may have come into contact with any harmful substances to seek medical advice immediately and contact the many groups who are doing valued work combating the scourge of drug abuse."

The majority of fatalities relating to drug abuse in Northern Ireland occur when someone has taken more than one substance, including alcohol.

Police made 6,771 seizures of illicit substances in the year ending 30 September 2018.

A total of 3,310 drug-related arrests were made in the same period, up by 469 on the previous year.

"These sustained high levels of drug seizure incidents reflect the proactive work by the PSNI in response to concerns about drugs within our communities," Detective Superintendent Singleton added.



(JG)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

07 August 2019
Three New Leisure Centres To Open In Belfast
A number of senior appointments have been made as preparations continue for the opening of three new council funded leisure centres in Belfast. The Brook, Andersonstown and Lisnasharragh Leisure Centres will open under the 'Better' brand name early next year, expanding the provision of social enterprise GLL across the city.
13 August 2019
Tech Firm Chargifi To Create New Jobs In Belfast
More than 40 new jobs are to be created in Belfast by Chargifi a leading provider of cloud-connected wireless charging technology. The firm also announced an investment of £3.6 million in a new Technology and Business Development Hub.
12 August 2019
Council Task Force On Climate Change Launched
In a first for Belfast City Council, a newly established task force dedicated to climate change is set to meet today, Monday 12 August. The cross-party effort has been launched in the hope of putting climate change resilience firmly on the agenda through monthly meetings to monitor the challenges and risks facing the city.
07 August 2019
Record Crowds Expected To Attend Belfast Mela
A celebration of Northern Ireland's cultural diversity, the 13th Belfast Mela is set to attract record crowds. The festival was launched yesterday by Lord Mayor of Belfast John Finucane and promises to be a wonderful family day out with a variety of world foods, music and dance showcased in Botanic Gardens on Sunday 25 August.
16 August 2019
'Difficult Winter For Many' As Power NI Ups Prices
An SDLP councillor has warned that low income families will be forced into fuel poverty due to a price hike introduced by Power NI. The energy provider will impose the 6% increase from the beginning of October, meaning the typical household customer can expect to be charged an extra £35 a year.