Think Tank Drugs – 15th Febuary

Today, we had a 2 hour slot with an Inspector who has mainly worked in drugs for the 20 years. Upon arrival we met with students from Plymouth University outside Charles Cross, who have been doing the volunteer project for a few months longer then us. We all went up together where the room was and sat down with Heather and the Inspector. Like any think tank the person in charge who has called this think tank to happen is there to ask us questions on the subject and to ask what solutions we may have. He started off by asking us what drug problems we think there are in Plymouth and any experiences we have had with them. We went round and expressed our thoughts and experiences. When it was my turn to chip in I felt the main problem with drugs in this city is that its hardly reported. I know of people who sell drugs and take drugs but it had never crossed my mind to tell the police about them.

The main problem we found with drugs is that it links to almost every crime. We also found out that drugs are a very hard subject to keep control of as everyone and anyone can do it, it’s mainly kept under lock and key. People running drugs are normally people who have had a bad life, so if they were ever caught they hardly ever rat on the person in charge because they are scared.

This think tank was very successful and again I felt very comfortable and confident to speak in front of the Inspector and other people. I felt the Inspector was very approachable and respectful of all of us when we were talking. I think today helped both sides to gain a better perspective of drugs. Us as students gave them information they had never really had before. Such as bouncers in clubs when told about drugs in the night club don’t tend to do anything about it. Also that less students take drugs then the police think they do. Nick Leffer has written a blog about why we should share things and I really felt these think tanks link in with this. He’s very big on ‘if you give, you receive’ meaning by sharing certain ideas and thoughts on something helps you to get information and feedback on this. I believe if students and police came together we could create ideas and ways to lower crime rates. Looking into statistics, shockingly the South West of England are the biggest drug users in the UK. 9 adults last years confessed to using illegal substances. The Home Office suggests usage of drugs had risen 9.5% in the South West in the following year. Nearly 100 people have died as a results of drugs in the past three years. The most commonly used drug in the South West is Cannabis with 9.4% of people admitting to taking it last year comparing it to 7.1% in 2016/2017 (Plymouth Live, 2019)


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