A concerted community effort – led by police – is required to deal with the ongoing scourge of drugs.
In Newry, a local MLA claims that dealers are peddling their evil trade in broad daylight in open and public spaces.
Newry and Armagh SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley has called on the PSNI to make tacking the problem “a top priority”.
He was speaking after meeting with a number of residents from across Newry.
“I have been contacted by residents in a number of areas in Newry about the scourge of drugs in their areas,” he explained. “They tell me that in some places drug dealing and drug taking is an almost daily occurrence and those involved say it is happening in broad-day-light in open areas.
“Residents have seen strange cars arrive in their areas, the drivers of which are selling drugs and in some cases the drugs are being taken openly by young people.
“People who live in the area have been subjected to disturbances during the night which they believe are the direct result of drug activity.
“Local residents do not want to see their young children and grandchildren exposed to this type of activity; they want it stopped immediately. People are anxious not only about the present situation but about what may develop from it in terms of related crime.
“I have spoken with senior PSNI representatives in the area and have asked them to work with the local community to help ensure that this activity is brought to an end.
“Those involved need to realise that what they are doing is highly dangerous, both to themselves and to the community.
“This issue must be given a top priority by the police and every effort must be made to ensure those responsible are taken off our streets.”
Read more news:
Sign Up To Our Newsletter
Don't miss a headline with a daily round-up as well as major breaking news. Sign up for free here.