Despite having seized millions of pounds worth of illegal drugs in the city over the past two years, Derry’s chief police officer has said he believes that they have still only uncovered ‘the tip of the iceberg’.
Chief Inspector John Burrows revealed than more than 150 house searches have been carried out in the Foyle district in the last two years and more than 50 offenders have been brought before the courts on charges of supplying illegal drugs.
However, he said he firmly believes there is much more which can be done. Speaking to the ‘Journal’ this week CI Burrows said that help from the community was a ‘large factor’ in fighting the drugs war in Derry but that more help would be welcomed. “What we have found is that we are receiving a lot of help from the community - and indeed from communities who would not have traditionally engaged with the police. But this needs to keep happening if we are to continue to tackle the city’s drugs problems.”
CI Burrows said the success of the PSNI’s anti-drug operation ‘clearly showed’ there was an alternative to campaigns waged by groups such as Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) which he described as ‘violent and grotesque’.
The most prevalent drugs seized in Derry continue to be Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy - with the latter having seen a resurgence in popularity due to a drop in price. Despite the high profile seizure of a haul of heroin in the city last year, CI Burrows said he was confident this was in transit elsewhere and Derry did not have a heroin problem.