12/06/2024

PSNI Officers Raise £705 For Local Charity

Derry City & Strabane police officers recently traded their work boots for hiking boots to raise £705 for a local non-profit aiding those on the path to recovery from addiction and substance misuse.

Six officers from Ballyarnett Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) raised the funds for Addiction Recovery Coaching (ARC Fitness) by completing the 30 kilometre Causeway Coast Challenge Walk on 5 May.

Ballyarnett NPT Sergeant Pete Johnston said: "ARC works to assist those struggling with addiction, and have assisted many of the people we used to deal with regularly. Far too often police officers see at first hand the impact of the sale, supply and use of illicit drugs and the harm caused, not just on the individual themselves but also on their family and community. Tackling this issue is a priority for police in Derry City & Strabane, however, a criminal justice approach alone does not have all the answers, which is why working with partners and other organisations to break the cycle of offending is so important."
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In 2023, a team of 10 Ballyarnett officers successfully participated in the Belfast Marathon relay, generating £1,355 in funds for ARC. The year prior, in 2022, they secured matching funds alongside the Derry & Strabane Policing and Safety Community Partnership (PCSP) for an initiative with ARC Fitness, empowering officers to facilitate referrals to the organisation.

Sergeant Johnston added: "We hope the funds raised will make a difference to those in need of help. Thank you to everyone who supported our officers for this great cause."

Gary Rutherford, founder of ARC Fitness, says ARC helps those in need of support improve their mental and physical wellbeing though physical activity, professional support and re-connection with the community. He said the donation will make a 'massive difference" and added: "The community/voluntary sector rely on the support of partners within the community so, for us, receiving this donation from the PSNI is fantastic; we love working with them and we really value the partnership so, thank you to everyone involved, from all of us at ARC Fitness."

Sergeant Johnston , Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "ARC works to assist those struggling with addiction, and have assisted many of the people we used to deal with regularly. Far too often police officers see at first hand the impact of the sale, supply and use of illicit drugs and the harm caused, not just on the individual themselves but also on their family and community. Tackling this issue is a priority for police in Derry City & Strabane, however, a criminal justice approach alone does not have all the answers, which is why working with partners and other organisations to break the cycle of offending is so important."


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