Recovering addicts join steet clean-up

The team out and about in Talbot Ward.

The team out and about in Talbot Ward.

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RECOVERING drink and drug addicts showed the community they have transformed their lives as they joined police for a clean-up of central Blackpool.

Talbot ward was the focus of yesterday’s action as officers and volunteers from Blackpool Service User Representation Forum - a group of people who are in recovery following drink or drug problems - cleared the streets of rubbish.

The activity was part of a month-long police and council operation which has been organised after residents raised concerns about drug dealing, dog fouling, litter, graffiti, fly tipping, and youth nuisance.

Chris Miller, chairman of BSURF, said: “The community only ever see the negative side of addiction - crime such as shoplifting which has a detrimental effect on the community.

“As recovering addicts we wanted to show people the positive side of our recovery and give something back to the community.

“Quite a lot of us have come from the community rehab scheme, Coast.

“There is life after addiction. The police aren’t our enemy - we can work together to make our community better and make people proud of Blackpool.”

The team of police officers and around 10 volunteers cleaned up areas such as Buchanan Street and Whitegate Drive.

PC Jamie Robinson said: “It went really well. We got a great response from the community.

“It shows if the police and BSURF can work together, there is nothing to stop the community to do their bit.”

Young people from Monty’s Lions – a young adults community group based on Dickson Road – also joined in with the clean-up.

Coun Sarah Riding, Talbot ward councillor, added: “This is all about trying to put some pride back into the local area.

“People don’t want rubbish dumped, drug dealing or people parking their cars illegally. These things do go on and people won’t tolerate them.

“It’s a great example of how the PACT meetings work.

“People have aired their concerns and we have brilliant police officers who act on that intelligence.

“We can’t thank the police and council officers enough for their responsiveness.”