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Dial to Stop Drug Dealing roll-out must be part of new National Drugs Strategy – Ó Snodaigh

13 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD will attend this evening's consultation meeting on the new National Drugs Strategy in Dublin. Speaking ahead of the meeting Deputy Ó Snodaigh called on the new Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to expedite the roll out of the successful 'Dial to Stop Drug Dealing Programme' throughout the State.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "In response to a Dáil question from myself the previous Justice Minister Brian Lenihan confirmed that the National Drugs Strategy Team is finalising plans to roll this project out throughout the state in conjunction with local and regional task forces.

"It is imperative as the drugs crisis continues to escalate that this process is expedited and I would urge the new Minister Dermot Ahern to make this a priority.

"The Dial to Stop Drug Dealing initiative was piloted in Blanchardstown in 2006 with good results. Its success lies in the fact that it is a non Garda phone line which means people can report drug dealing without fear of being identified. It also helped to bridge the gap between some communities and the Gardaí. It must be a key factor in the next National Drugs Strategy.

"Sinn Féin welcomes the chance to contribute to the process of putting together the next National Drugs Strategy and our representatives have been attending each and every consultation meeting throughout the state.

"The new strategy must ensure that funding to frontline services is sufficient and secure, that successful pilot projects are mainstreamed without delay and that overly lengthy waiting lists for treatment are eliminated.

"For any new drug strategy to be successful it is absolutely essential that the Government recognises the gravity of the drugs crisis and matches it with the adequate resources to combat it. This has not been the case heretofore as evidenced by the pitiful resources put into the current National Drugs Strategy." ENDS

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