Sinn Féin - On Your Side

PSNI response to suspected drugs find not up to the mark

6 January, 2008

Sinn Féin's Niall Ó Donnghaile has expressed his utter dismay at the PSNI response to what local people suspect was another drugs find in the Short Strand area.

A small sealed bag containing traces of a white powder was found by a local resident in the same area as a similar find a few weeks back, close to the Doyle Youth Club.

The Sinn Féin's East Belfast Representative said,

"This is a worrying development given that this package was found in the same area as one a few weeks back, located just beside the Doyle Youth Club where children are gathered most nights of the week.

"I commend the vigilance of the resident who found this package and would call on parents to talk to their children and warn them about the dangers of drugs.

"If it does indeed emerge that this bag, and the last one, contained drugs then this is a worrying pattern and shows very clearly that people are targeting children within the area; we as a community must not allow that to happen.

"The response of the PSNI last night was not as commendable, having arranged to pass the package on to them with a member of the Short Strand Drug Awareness Programme, they then refused to come to the meeting because young children were throwing snowballs at them!

"This beggars belief and I dread to think if the same excuse would be used had someone been attacked or worse.

"I, the SSDP Worker and the resident who found the package were then forced to find another location in which to meet the PSNI and pass the package, which we believed may have contained drugs, over to them.

"We reiterate our party's position to work with the PSNI to provide an effective and accountable policing service but the PSNI have a long way to go in gaining the confidence of this community and attitudes like those displayed last night do nothing to earn that trust." CRÍOCH

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