A BROMSGROVE councillor is calling for better safeguarding of Worcestershire’s young people after revealing the devastating effect drugs had on his own family.
Coun Adam Kent was speaking on his motion at County Council meeting last Thursday, asking councillors to ‘champion the Get Safe scheme in their own divisions’.
Get Safe strives to protect young people aged up to 25 against all forms of criminal exploitation.
“When I was 15 I was approached and offered drugs, as many people are these days,” said an emotional Coun Kent.
“What was unique about my situation was that the person who offered me those drugs was my uncle Andrew.
“I refused, but I had a close relationship with Andrew because he was a lot younger than my father – in fact I saw him more as an older brother.”
Coun Kent described how Andrew’s behaviour began to change after he moved on from ‘gateway drug’ cannabis to harder drugs such as speed, acid and LSD.
“He needed help, we did our best as a family, but unfortunately at the time there was no support system in place like Get Safe.”
Andrew was invited to stay at the family home in an attempt to cure him of his addiction.
But disaster struck when Andrew attacked and killed his own mother – Coun Kent’s grandmother – in her own home.
He was charged with murder at the age of 24 and received a substantial jail sentence.
However he died before the age of 50 due to his drug abuse.
“The impact it has had on our family cannot be described.
“My father and his siblings were faced with having to find a solicitor for Andrew while also organising their mum’s funeral.
“Drugs are the biggest threat which currently face our society.
“Get Safe is a brilliant wide-ranging initiative which helps address these issues.
“My uncle was 24 when our family was destroyed but he was introduced to drugs at much younger age.
“I think it’s vitally important that we inform our residents about the Get Safe scheme with the correct literature and website information.”
Following a huge applause Coun Kent’s motion was unanimously passed.