Police chiefs vow to continue war against drugs in South Yorkshire

Drugs claimed 230 lives in South Yorkshire in two years
Drugs claimed 230 lives in South Yorkshire in two years
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Police chiefs in South Yorkshire have vowed to continue the fight against drugs after new figures revealed 230 of the county's users died in two years.

Police chiefs in South Yorkshire have vowed to continue the fight against drugs after new figures revealed 230 users in the county died in two years.

The Office for National Statistics revealed last week that between 2014 and 2016 there were 107 drug-related deaths in Sheffield, 47 in Doncaster, 41 in Rotherham and 35 in Barnsley.

Today, South Yorkshire Police called for information on those involved in 'drugs criminality'.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Wilson said: "South Yorkshire Police are committed to tackling drug related crime and we have, and continue, to take robust action to achieve this.

“This action includes carrying out targeted activity to gather local and regional intelligence information, working closely with our partners at the National Crime Agency and conducting specialist operations to protect our communities.

“From this continued activity we have been able to successfully execute a number of warrants across South Yorkshire and bring offenders engaging in illegal drug activity to justice.

“As well as conducting specialist operations to remove the dangers drugs pose to our communities, we also work in partnership with the local health agency to raise awareness of the support and advice available.

“I would like to offer my reassurance that this action will continue and if any members of the public have concerns or information about those involved in drugs criminality, I would urge them to report this and support us in tackling the harm and misery caused by drug supply and consumption.”

Greg Fell, Sheffield City Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “As drug use has increased so has the number of drug related deaths, locally and nationally. While we have seen an increase, the figures are still very low. A tiny proportion of deaths in Sheffield last year were drug related deaths.

“There are services to help anyone affected by drugs in Sheffield. We treat around 3,000 people every year and this figure has been consistent year on year. Support is free, there is no waiting list for treatment and people can either drop into services and be seen the same day, refer themselves or go through their GPs.

“It is proven that being in drug treatment plays a huge role in preventing drug related deaths and I would urge anyone experiencing drug issues, or those who are concerned about others, to get in touch immediately.

“In Sheffield we work with people to access support and will continue to provide high quality, open access treatment services with no waiting times, so that we can help as many people as possible recover from drug use and prevent future drug related deaths.”