herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Huge increase in sale and supply of drugs in city

Gardai in Crumlin, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard all recorded huge increases in drug crimes this year
Gardai in Crumlin, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard all recorded huge increases in drug crimes this year

The sale and distribution of drugs in parts of Dublin has dramatically increased on last year.

Gardai in Crumlin, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard all recorded huge increases in drug crimes this year.

In total, the South Central district recorded 160 cases of the sale and distribution of drugs in the 12 months up to mid-July this year.

That's up by 54 cases on the same period last year.

Kilmainham and Kevin Street Garda Stations reported the problem increased by a shocking 76pc in their area alone, compared with 2014.

They had 104 detections of the sale and supply of drugs in their districts, compared to just 59 between July 2013 and July 2014.

The DMR West division, which encompasses Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, saw 27 detections of sale and supply of drugs this year, an increase of 42pc. Gardai in Ballyfermot say they have conducted 530 searches for drugs in the first six months of 2015 in an effort to stamp out the problem.

But local councillor Daithi de Roiste said that the increase was "very worrying".

"I'm not going after gardai here because it's not their fault," he said. "We simply don't have the resources to tackle this problem."

Decrease

The Crumlin area saw 24 recorded instances of drug distribution and sale - an increase of 20pc in the last year compared to the previous 12 months.

Terenure was the only district in the South Central area to see a decrease in drug activity, down 38pc to just five incidents.

Mr de Roiste said he believed the increases in drug activity occurred after the end of a 2013 garda operation which cracked down on criminal drug gangs in the area. Operation Trident was an operation that saw detectives from the Garda National Drugs Unit and Crumlin Garda Station backed by armed members of the Emergency Response Unit carry out raids on several drug gangs.

The numbers come in the same week that drugs minister Aodhan O Riordain said he would support the decriminalisation of some drugs.

He suggested that not all those found in possession of drugs should face criminal charges.

The minister said he was in favour of decriminalisation, but added that it did not mean he was "soft" on the issue.

"To assume that people will be influenced by criminal sanctions is old-fashioned," he told the Herald.

"I don't see the point in handing someone who is caught with a certain amount of cannabis a criminal conviction for life," he added.

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