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Government stands indicted for failure to tackle drugs – Ó Snodaigh

4 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has moved an amendment in the Dáil to the Government's amendment of the Fine Gael Private Members Motion on crime and anti-social behaviour. Deputy Ó Snodaigh called for resources to be pumped into crime prevention measures, drugs schemes, services to victims of crime, rehabilitation and diversionary programmes.

He said, "Successive governments have been content with passing law after law, but they haven't focussed on the causes of crime, lack of respect, materialism, drug and alcohol fuelled violence, mindless violence and thuggery.

"More resources need to be pumped into crime prevention measures, drugs schemes, services to victims of crime, rehabilitation and diversionary programmes. Youth facilities and encouraging alternatives to alcohol or drugs have to be built up if we are to ensure that Drimnagh's tragedy is not repeated again.

"I have called time and again for an approach akin to that of the Foot an Mouth approach to the drugs empire - all hands on deck. Remember foot and mouth wouldn't have killed anyone, but all arms of the state were mobilised to stop it. There has been no such approach to tackling the drugs/alcohol culture in particular among our young, and the violent fall-out form that.

"This government and the previous governments stand indicted for their failure to tackle this crisis and its resultant violence. This has been flagged up continuously by the communities affected and by Sinn Féin since the 1980s.

"Much needs to be done for the Gardaí to gain respect, to have the confidence of the community. With this in mind I would encourage the Garda Commissioner to divert resources to community policing, which is acknowledged the most effective way to tackle anti-social behaviour, to give assurance to community and victims of crime that the state is their to help and protect them.

"I have been calling for over a year now for the roll-out of a dial-to-stop drug-dealing anyomous phone line, to encourage those with information on this crime to share that information with An Garda Síochána without being identifiable. In a pilot in Blanchardstown it helped lead to the arrest and prosecution of many drug-dealers." ENDS

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