A new project is being launched in the Keighley area to enlist parents and other people who work with youngsters to help combat the rise in cannabis use.
A resource pack which includes scratch and sniff cards is being issued for the Keighley awareness project entitled ‘No Excuses’.
These cards bear patches of specially developed inks which mimic the smell of cannabis weed and resin, and also two other drugs – mephedrone, also known as MCAT, and amphetamine, also known as speed.
The scratch and sniff cards will therefore help people to recognise the smells and therefore be aware of when drug-taking activity is taking place.
The “No Excuses” project is being launched between Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police, and social landlord Incommunities. It is being funded by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.
Coun Arshad Hussain, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “Our youth workers have witnessed an increase in cannabis use and we wanted to enlist the help of parents in challenging this behaviour which could affect their children’s performance in school and make them vulnerable to other dangers.
“The drug smells are a chance to get people thinking about what they are and what effect they have and the health consequences of legal highs.”
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “I’m funding this project because I think it is important for us all to work together to combat this problem which is becoming ever more of a threat in our communities.
“So-called ‘legal highs’ are by no means safe. We are seeing an increase in people dying and being admitted to hospital as a result of taking these substances, so we all need to do more.
“Raising awareness around these issues, particularly among young people and parents, is extremely important so that they are fully aware of the dangers connected with cannabis and other substances.”
Anna Fryer, Director of Incommunities – Neighbour Services, said: “We are committed to working with our partners to tackle all forms of drug abuse and welcome this initiative to engage with parents and people working with young people.
“As a social landlord we are determined to help tackle this problem and avert young people away from the dangers of drugs.”
Any groups wanting to take part in the project should contact Liz Parker at Keighley Co-ordinator’s Office on 01535 618008 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Groups from the towns that lie in the Keighley constituency such as Ilkley, Addingham, Steeton and Silsden, and elsewhere in the Worth Valley, would be especially welcome, said Liz.
The No Excuses project will be launched on Saturday, 16 January, 10.30am – 1pm, in the Airedale shopping centre at Keighley.