46% Spike In Bradford Drug Crimes

Drug possession and traffic charges in the city of Bradford have seen an increase over a five-year period.

By Alishba, 15, and Leoni, 15, Bradford · September 30, 2019

There has been a 46% increase in drug possession and trafficking crimes in Bradford over the last five years.

In 2014, there were 1,171 drug-related crimes of this nature, but in 2018 this figure had almost doubled, to 1,717.

Yet while the synthetic drug Spice has made headline news for its devastating impact on other cities, particularly in the north, Bradford counted just 10 recorded spice related crimes over the same five year period.

There were no recorded crimes in 2014 and 2015, which rose to just 2 recorded in 2016, and 4 recorded in both 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Pic: Pexels / Pixabay

An austerity problem 

Harry Shapiro, from DrugWise, said “I think cuts in local government spending through austerity are really beginning to bite as they apply to homelessness, mental health problems and the money available for drug and alcohol services coupled with cuts in benefits – and the ability of the police to deal with day to day acquisitive crime. 

Those areas of the country suffering the worst impacts of poverty and deprivation are feeling this the most – mainly in the north.”

A need for “discrete, community venues”

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places at Bradford Council said “Any individual living in the Bradford District can access Bradford Council’s ‘New Directions Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service’ which is based in hubs across Bradford and Keighley. The aim of the service is to ensure these confidential services are accessible to everyone within community hubs, GP practices and other in discrete community venues.

The service offers a single point of access to treatment for Opiate and Crack Users, Alcohol, Addiction to prescribed and non-prescribed Medication and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), and other substances of abuse including Spice. Support is provided through the service with any questions or concerns about prescription medications, alcohol, illegal drugs, ‘dual diagnosis’ and mental health, steroid use and more. It is a free service for adults including offenders, families and concerned others.”

Why did the students cover this story?

Leoni and Alishba covered this as “it is important to us as we witness this increase on a daily basis”.