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Combating Drugs Need to be a priority for PSNI‏

17 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Councillor Maeve McLaughlin has that Sinn Féin demanded for the inclusion of drugs as a priority issue in the forthcoming Policing Plan for the Derry City Council area.

Cllr. McLaughlin said:

"Having studied the draft policing plan for the forthcoming year it was a matter of great concern to Sinn Féin that there was no mention of the existence of drugs or how to combat this scourge on our communities. It is also a concern that drugs did not feature as a priority in any of the previous plans.

"I was surprised that the PSNI explained that there was no definitive strategy to combat the scourge of drugs that afflicts our communities other that random seizures based on intelligence.

"There must be a supply network as it is impossible to believe that each small time dealer is either cultivating or importing small amounts of drugs. Drugs are big business these importers must be tracked down and dealt with.

"If we are to tackle this scourge then a strategy needs to be devised that encompass all aspects of the drug trade from supply to finding ways of helping people with addictions get their lives back together again.

"This serious omission was addressed by the Sinn Féin members of the Derry District Policing Partnership at the first meeting we participated. We insisted that this issue be included in the policing plan.

"It is very worrying that the District Policing Partnership had failed to prioritise a drugs problem which threatens to inflict such misery on our communities and we make no apology for ensuring that the DPP and the PSNI respond to this well documented reality as a matter of urgency.

"It is clear from our early engagements within the DPP that one of Sinn Fein's key tasks will be to ensure that the real issues which affect our communities are properly identified with credible and meaningful measures then put in place and implemented by the PSNI." ENDS

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