A COUNCILLOR has described how drugs had a devastating effect on his family as he called for the county’s support to a scheme aimed at protecting children against criminal exploitation.

Worcestershire County Councillor Adam Kent, who represents Wythall, emotionally described how he saw his uncle’s mental health deteriorate so badly from drug use that he eventually attacked his own mother.

He urged councillors to throw their support behind Get Safe - a scheme led by several organisations including West Mercia Police, Worcestershire County Council and the county’s health and care trust – that strives to protect children and young people in Worcestershire from all forms of criminal exploitation including gangs, slavery, drugs and forced marriage.

He said he hoped Get Safe would save children and their families from the same turmoil he had experienced.

Cllr Kent said cannabis was a “mere stepping stone” for his uncle, who he saw as like a brother, and he progressed to harder drugs such as speed and LSD, substances which “seriously affected his mental health.”

“He needed help. We needed help. Our family did its best to find help. But there was no Get Safe scheme then. There was no support from a joint agency scheme that could address our needs,” he told councillors at a meeting at County Hall on Thursday (November 7).

He said: “The impact on our family cannot be described and my father and his siblings were faced with having to find a solicitor for their brother whilst at the same time arranging their mother’s funeral.

“I’m not sure that if this programme was available at that time in my life whether it would have saved my family, but I sincerely hope our involvement can help save many more families and children from a similar experience.

“Drugs are the biggest threat facing us as a society."

He adeded: "They drive crime and are responsible for many ruined young lives and family turmoil. We see deaths [...] and drugs are involved in homelessness, sexual exploitation and trafficking. Our children are seen by serious crime groups as potential runners, dealers and customers."