Last night (Wednesday)’s public meeting of Banbridge PCSP was held up while police investigated a bomb threat.
Quickly declared a hoax, the incident has nevertheless led to speculation that dealers, intent on disrupting efforts to tackle the local drugs trade, might have been responsible.
Drugs misuse locally and regionally was on the agenda at the Policing and Community Safety Partnership meeting in Banbridge Bowling Pavilion, where an uncharacteristically large number of people gathered to discuss drugs and alcohol concerns with agencies including police, Housing Executive, Drug Addiction Northern Ireland, the charity REACT and the Independent Complaints Panel overseeing the responsible retailing of alcohol.
As the public meeting was due to get underway police reported a bomb threat had been received; investigations quickly revealed it to have been a hoax.
A number of councillors and PCSP members swiftly condemned the hoaxer(s) but all agreed that if undermining a joint approach to the drugs trade was the motive behind the call, those responsible had failed.
The meeting might have been delayed by about 30-45 minutes, they said, but it went ahead and was one of the most successful meetings of its kind in local PCSP/DPP history.