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SF Assembly Member welcomes PSNI drug raids

17 March, 2008

South Down Assembly Member Willie Clarke has commended the PSNI for carrying out a number of raids on the homes of suspected drug dealers in the Burrendale Estate, and on the Dundrum Road in Newcastle.

Cllr Clarke said: "Sinn Féin has been pressing the PSNI to do more to combat the growing drug problem in Newcastle. Last Friday's morning raids on the homes of suspected drug dealers in Newcastle is a welcome development which I hope will go someway to disrupting the supply of cocaine and other dangerous substances that are now widely available in the town.

"In welcoming these raids, I am aware of at least one family whom I believe were wrongly targeted by the PSNI and as a result they were left distraught at being caught up in this large police operation. This is very regrettable and after visiting their home I saw for myself the damage done to their property, which was excessive. They are understandably angry at what happened and I have now raised their case with the PSNI and made clear that their intelligence before carrying out house searches must be 100% accurate.

"However, ultimately the blame for these house raids rests with with the growing number of drug dealers who are openly plying their trade in estates right across the town. The immense damage they are causing, especially to our young people, will have long term and far reaching implications and they need to be caught and brought to justice.

"The vast majority of residents living in places like the Burrendale are decent, hardworking people who should not have to put up with drug dealing parasites whose only concern is making a profit, regardless of the consequences. Sinn Féin will continue to use its influence on the DPP's to ensure the PSNI are doing all within their power to arrest and prosecute the drug dealers that are based in Newcastle.

"We will also continue to put pressure on the PSNI to keep targeting drug dealers and they must look at those people who are profiting from selling cocaine and amphetamines and living in middle class residential areas. The scourge of drugs is not just confined to places like the Burrendale and the growing number of dealers operating in the town must be targeted in similar raids." ENDS

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