May 3, 2020
Orkney Drugs Dog is delighted to have been successful in our application to the Orkney Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Commissioning for Families and Wider Communities Fund.
As an update on activity over the six months, our Handler and drug detection dog have been active throughout Orkney. They have been present at our Air and Ferry Ports of Entry (POE), the Post Office and have also assisted Police Scotland in executing warrant searches. This work will continue during the Coronavirus COVID-19 restrictions as it is felt important to maintain our aim to Deter, Detect and Disrupt illegal drug supply and use within the County.
Chairman of the charity, Andrew Drever said “During this reporting period, 1st October 2019-31st March 2020, we have undertaken 65 deployments at POEs and have scanned in the region of 1800 individuals. Alongside Police Scotland, an additional 118 deployments within Orkney have been completed. During this time, a total of 13 positive detections involving our dog have been made.
We have been active in many of our Primary and Junior High schools, including six island schools, and at our youth and senior community groups delivering 48 drug awareness talks and giving advice and information to around 780 individuals. While on the islands, we have delivered awareness information evenings so that anyone with concerns about drug misuse can gain relevant information and access contact details for support services. We have completed our formal education presentations to S4 pupils at Kirkwall Grammar School and Stromness Academy for academic year 2019/20
By way of fundraising, we spent a very successful week in the Blue Door supported by our community, had an excellent Gin Night in the Masonic which was kindly supported by Highland Park, set up a stall at the County Show and at the Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair and had help from Stewart Williamson who spent a week of his time collecting donations in Lidl on our behalf. We are committed to continue with fundraising and, subject to current COVID-19 restrictions, we plan to do what we can to hold fundraising events and will continue to seek business contracts to help raise our funds.
With funding now secured, we owe huge gratitude to Orkney Alcohol and Drugs Partnership for their support in awarding us Commissioned Service status and in particular we are grateful to ADP Co-Ordinator, Katie Spence, for her valuable and professional support and advice given to us as a charity. Thanks also to national and local businesses as well as our statutory and voluntary partners for their continued, and valuable support in providing assistance, donations and in-kind service provision. In continuing to deliver the services we provide, together, we can move towards long-term sustainability and, in turn, work towards Keeping Orkney Safe.
Finally: In supporting the efforts being made to combat Coronavirus COVID-19, we took the decision to stand our Handler down from all Charity presentation talks during the COVID-19 pandemic and released him from his work time to attend to Special Constable duties with Police Scotland if required. In doing so, we hope to support the tremendous efforts being made by all of our Statutory, Voluntary and Business organisations in reducing the effects the pandemic may have on our community.”
Sally Shaw, Orkney Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Chairwoman, responded by saying “Following our recent Commissioning process, we are pleased to award the contract for the ‘families and wider communities’ specification to Orkney Drugs Dog. In their application the charity demonstrated excellent progress in setting up and successfully running this newly established charity which we are confident will contribute to the reduction in supply of illegal drugs in our community, keeping generations safe for years to come. We look forward to working collaboratively with Orkney Drugs Dog in the future.”