Drug dealers to be targeted by patrols

Drug peddlers who have been openly dealing near a busy artery connecting Derry's north western suburbs with Creggan, Rosemount and the city centre are to be targeted in stepped up police patrols, according to a local councillor.

Sinn Féin Councillor for the Foyleside District Electoral Area Mickey Cooper said the PSNI have agreed to put on extra patrols to try and disrupt drug dealing in the vicinity of the Creggan Road ‘bywash’.

“I was contacted by concerned residents who had seen drug dealing in the vicinity of the Bywash area of Creggan Road over the past number of weekends.

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“Following these concerns being raised with me I contacted the PSNI and asked them to put on extra patrols to disrupt the drug dealing taking place.I would urge anyone with information on drug dealing in any part of Derry to contact the police,” he said.

Earlier this month the ‘Journal’ reported how the number of drugs offences recorded in Derry and Strabane rose by 54 per cent last year. Colr. Cooper said enforcement was only one part of the solution. Education, support and intervention were key to addressing the use of illegal drugs, he said.

“It’s also very important that anyone caught up in this vicious cycle gets as much help and support as they need.

“The main priority in any approach to tackling drugs must focus on early intervention and prevention. The communities and families at risk from drugs are easily identifiable and this is where resources must be targeted. Combining the ongoing work of the PSNI in removing these drugs with education programmes for our young people is the key to eradicating drug misuse,” he said.