Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Branch have donated £3,403.85 in cash to local charity AWARE NI, following a successful conviction.

The money was seized by police following a large scale supply of drugs investigation. As part of these investigations and subsequent court cases, a disposal of cash order was obtained from the court.

Detective Chief Inspector Gail McCormick said: “Officers were successful in requesting and managing to get the courts to grant some of the seized cash from this investigation to be forfeited and donated to a local charity. It was extremely rewarding to be able to provide these monies to AWARE NI, who specialise in supporting those with mental health concerns.

“On average, one in five people in Northern Ireland will have a mental health issue at some point during their life and each month there are over 1,000 calls made to police that have a mental health component. Officers are acutely aware of the challenges faced by those who may be in distress when attending calls for help.

“Organisations such as AWARE NI play an important role in providing support for those in distress. The monies seized was obtained by criminals through the misery and devastation of the distribution of drugs in local communities. The cash received and donated to AWARE NI will be able to have a positive impact on supporting those facing mental health challenges in the local community.

Karen Collins, Chief Executive of AWARE NI added: “The donation received will help the vital resources of AWARE NI to support those affected by depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder across Northern Ireland.

“AWARE NI delivers mental health and wellbeing programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. With a network of 23 peer-led mental health support groups, covering both rural and urban areas and run by trained volunteers, this donation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland will further enhance our reach for assisting those affected by mental ill-health.”

AWARE NI’s Chief Executive Karen Collins is presented with a cheque by Detective Chief Inspector Gail McCormick from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Branch for £3,403.85, following a successful recent conviction and the application of a disposal of cash order provided by the courts following a large scale policing operation targeting the supply of drugs.