New campaign to help catch drug dealers
Assets seized from convicted criminals will pay for a campaign to encourage members of the public to inform on drug dealers in their community.
The campaign was launched today by First Minister Jack McConnell during a visit to Craigheads estate in Barrhead, where he met local residents and community police officers.
The advertising campaign 'Dealers Don't Care, Do You? is funded by money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and operated in partnership with Crimestoppers Scotland and the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The First Minister said:
"This new campaign says to ordinary, hard working Scots that their actions can make a difference. If you speak out you can get rid of dealers in your community. If you speak out, you can provide the evidence that the police need to put criminals behind bars.
"We are determined to ensure that we hit dealers hard where it hurts most - in their pockets. And the more people who give anonymous information to Crimestoppers, the better chance we will have of taking money from criminals and reinvesting it in the communities hardest hit by drugs."
This campaign, devised by the Leith Agency, provides an emotional trigger as well as a call to action. It aims to encourage people to provide anonymous information on drug dealers and drug dealing activity in their area to Crimestoppers Scotland which will then be passed on to the relevant force to take appropriate action.
The campaign will run until March 31, 2005 and includes national and local press adverts, local radio adverts, outdoor posters, posters on buses and the Glasgow underground, toilet posters and stickers, and beer mats in pubs and clubs.
Towards the later part of the campaign there will also be a targeted direct mail-out to homes in areas hardest hit by drugs. For the first time, this will enable the public to give anonymous information, by post, to Crimestoppers.
The campaign will run under the banner of Crimestoppers Scotland using their national call number and call centre, based within the Scottish Criminal Records Office. It is being funded entirely through assets seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. In future years, such funding will be used to help regenerate and improve areas hardest hit by drugs.