As part of ongoing work to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) across our county, officers from #Braintree’s Community Policing Team have introduced a new anti-drug spray.
They visited licensed premises and public venues throughout Braintree and Witham’s town centres last weekend to coat surfaces that can often be used for recreational drug taking, such as those in bathrooms.
The clear substance coats the surface with a powerful bittering agent which reacts with any powdered substance. If the substance is then ingested, it will have a foul taste which can last several hours.
The initiative has been launched and funded by the Braintree District Community Safety Partnership, and is the first of its kind in Essex.
The Braintree District Community Safety Partnership is made up of Braintree District Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire & Rescue Service and other services who are all committed to reducing the risk and impact of crime and hidden harm in the Braintree District.
PC Caroline Marsay, who has led the initiative, said: “The vast majority of visitors to pubs, bars and venues do so sensibly and safely to enjoy their free time with friends and family.
“Unfortunately, there are still a small number of people who choose to take recreational drugs while visiting these premises, which not only poses a real danger to themselves, but has a significant impact on the wider community.
“It makes people feel unsafe, can lead to violence and ultimately funds organised crime.
“We’re always considering new tools and initiatives we can employ to keep you safe and I’m extremely proud to have been part of this step forward to deter drug taking in our communities.”
Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities at Braintree District Council and Chair of the Braintree District Community Safety Partnership, said:
“Our aim is to make the Braintree district an even safer place to live, work and visit so we are delighted to support Essex Police with the funding for this latest product to help reduce crime and drug use in Braintree and Witham town centres. We know that this product has significantly reduced drug-taking within premises in other areas across the country, so we hope that it has the same positive impact in our communities.”