15 drugs deaths since start of June in Belfast as council holds special meeting

There have been 15 drug-related deaths in Belfast since the start of June.

On Friday, Belfast City Council held a special meeting to discuss drugs and homelessness issues in the city.

Political party group leaders along with a wide variety of public agency representatives from the PSNI, Housing Executive, Belfast Trust and Public Health Agency attended Friday’s meeting.

The gathering was hosted by Lord Mayor Tina Black who said any such death would be “gut wrenching” for families.

“One death on our streets is too many deaths on our streets,” said the Sinn Féin councillor.

“We need to make sure our vulnerable individuals are supported fully from cradle to grave.

“We need to make sure preventative strategies are much more resourced than waiting until the end when we’ve come to a death scenario.”

Susan Fitzgerald from Unite the Union has called on politicians to “act and deliver supported accommodation for all homeless people”.

“It’s disgusting that in our society so many are brutalised by poverty, addiction and abuse and then just left to fend for themselves with little or not support,” she added.

On Saturday, a demonstration is due to take place in Belfast City centre at 2pm calling for action to be taken in relation to homelessness.  

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