Community call to stop drug-dealing

By Mary Dennehy

MORE than 120 Crimestoppers posters have been erected across Tallaght estates in a bid to tackle the prevalence of ‘open drug-dealing’ in estates – and to spur on community action and a local response to the issue.

The Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (TDATF) recently put up 120 posters across local communities, with another 100 due to go up next month.

Crimestoppers poster 27042017

Grace Hill, TDATF co-ordinator, told The Echo that the posters are one element of a campaign which is asking people to co-operate with the task force and gardai in tackling the issue of open drug-dealing in communities.

Ms Hill said: “We can’t deal with this issue on our own or without information and we’re asking people if they see it, report it.

“I understand that people may be afraid to report incidents but Crimestoppers gives you a safe and confidential line.”

The nature of drug-dealing has changed since the task force was established 20 years ago, with drug-project workers noting a worrying rise in instances of open drug-dealing in communities, which Ms Hill believes is normalising this type of activity.

“We’re starting to see an acceptability across some estates that open drug-dealing just happens and there’s nothing that can be done about it.” Ms Hill said.

“The more it happens, people start to think it’s normal, which I think is really sad.

“When the Tallaght drugs task force was set up 20 years ago the community had come together to tackle the issue, and we need people to become active again.

“We do not want to put anybody at risk, but people can report incidents of open drug-dealing in confidence to Crime-stoppers or they can become involved in the task force.

“We are always looking for new community representatives and fresh voices around the table and welcome engagement from residents.”

She added: “We need a community response to this and the task force is here, on the ground in communities, responding to issues in partnership with An Garda Síochána.

“The nature of drug dealing has changed and has to be challenged and anybody who would like to help tackle the problem is encouraged to get in touch.”

To contact Tallaght Garda Station, which has a dedicated officer for drug-related intimation, call 6666000.

Crimestoppers can be reached on 1800 25 00 25 or for information on the TDATF visit www.datf.ie or call 4649303.

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