Drugs crisis getting worse, Crowe tells Dáil
Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, speaking in the Dáil on Private Members Motion on the drugs crisis said it was a very lucky family that has not been directly or indirectly affected by drugs.
Deputy Crowe, who has been a member of Tallaght/Dodder Valley Drugs Task Force since its inception, said that support services were being cut and that legal and illegal drugs are eating away at the social fabric that holds communities together.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
"Tallaght has the highest rate of reported burglary crime in this State and Rathfarnham has the fourth highest. Local people are asking have we more house breakers in the locality or are the figures directly linked to the drugs epidemic that is bubbling away.
"I know of two recently arrested addicts who were robbing a supermarket every day in order to feed their drugs habit.
"I have talked recently to a number of families who have to live beside a drug or crack house. It has been raided on a number of occasions and people come and go day and night.
“Groups of youths, some as young as 12 or 13, are in the garden or at the house every day and every night. It has made life unbearable for the neighbouring families who are afraid to leave their homes for fear of robbery.
"The Criminal Assets Bureau has targeted the assets of some major drug dealers. Many people in the area that I represent want to see similar action taken against the street thugs and local drug dealers that are destroying their neighbourhoods.
"What message is being sent to young people when they see local shops and other properties being bought by these same criminals?
"We know that gang violence, including damage to property, physical assault and in some cases even murder is increasing around alleged drug debts. People living nearby are at risk from shootings and pipe bombs.
“It is just a matter of time before innocent people will be killed or seriously injured in these attacks.
"The drug gangs are grooming vulnerable children and young people to join their ranks and join their criminal activities. Fear of reprisals prevents the reporting of many of these incidents so it continues.
Current youth services are already under-resourced. The Young Peoples Facilities and Services fund has been cut by 40% in some areas. Meanwhile, the drugs crisis is worse.
In September Merchant’s Quay revealed that 10 new people a week are joining their needle exchange programme and demand for their GP services has risen by a massive 21%. This year is the third in a row that HSE funding was cut directly affecting frontline services. Two Estate Management jobs are to be lost in the next couple of weeks if funding is not found.
The government needs to tackle drug abuse and addiction , to stop cutting funding and the supports that are trying to manage the crisis.