Communities across Derry have a key role to play in the fight against drug dealers.
This is the view of the chairman of Derry’s District Policing Partnership, Councillor Thomas Conway, who helped launch a new campaign aimed at cracking down on drug dealing in Shantallow and Galliagh.
The local DPP, the City Council’s Community Safety Partnership and the Crimestoppers independent charity have just completed a joint publicity campaign urging people in these areas to join the fight againt drug dealing.
Posters using the slogan, ‘Drug Dealers Don’t Care - Do You?’, have been erected in bus shelters and phone booths in the area.
The message is a simple one - the local community should help identify the dealers to Crimestoppers.
Since September 1996, when Crimestoppers was established, there have been more than 25,000 “actionable” calls leading to 2,000 arrests and the recovery of £4.5 million worth of property and drugs.
Councillor Conway says the availability of drugs in local neighbourhoods is a major concern for residents.
“As a DPP, we realise that the police can only tackle this issue with the help of the public and we would encourage anyone with information about drug dealing to contact the police or Crimestoppers,” he says.
Crimestoppers operates by enabling members of the public to pass on information through a secure, 24 hour, anonymous telephone hotline: 0800 555 111.
“Crimestoppers is not the police so it is a perfectly anonymous way to report criminal activity” says Alderman Drew Thompson, Chair of Derry City Council’s Community Safety Partnership.
“By localising the wording on the posters and placing them at key visual points throughout Shantallow and Galliagh, we are letting the community know that this is an issue which needs the help of the local community if it is to be effectively addressed.”