STREET-level drug dealing throughout the county will be tackled more rigorously in the New Year.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris delivered this clear message at a joint policing committee meeting at County Hall last week where he also warned that the cannabis on the streets now is far more potent than before and more damaging to mental health.
Gardaí will be focusing on ‘the very overt dealing that people are seeing and is making them fearful,’ he warned.
Following on from the gardaí’s Christmas campaign, he said the gardaí will be tacking the issue in a more direct way in the New Year.
He said: ‘I recognise what a scourge it is and the level of violence and intimidation there is of families around drug debts and what it is doing in terms of creating fear within a community.’
The commission was also critical about the lack of public health information about the dangers of drugs.
He said: ‘The cannabis, which is used now, is very different from what it was 20 or 30 years ago when it used to be smuggled half way around the world.
‘Now, it is grown locally in forced conditions and gets to market that much quicker and is far more potent and has a real detrimental effect on people’s mental health.’
The commissioner also spoke about the dangers around cocaine and what it is cut with, and he said: ‘Not enough it said about the violence that comes with the drugs trade.
‘All these individuals who are using a drug of choice are giving no thought to the violence and despair which accompanies the drug trade.’
The commissioner added that ‘no clever policy is ever going to get us out of that’ because, he said, every drugs study shows that the market ‘constantly evolves and there is always crime within a drugs market.’