Cllr Imelda Goldsboro
Fianna Fáil General Election candidate Cllr. Imelda Goldsboro has called for a targeted community fund for Tipperary to clamp down on drug crime.
The Fianna Fáil Councillor says radical action is required to tackle the escalation of gang and drug crime in the county, and this must start with more garda resources and specific supports for communities at risk.
“Fine Gael allowed the illegal drugs trade to fester at a time when garda numbers in Tipperary and in specialised garda units were heavily depleted. It has seeped into communities, luring children into criminality. This has got to stop. We are not resourcing our gardaí adequately. We are not doing enough to steer young people away from drugs and gang crime,” said Cllr Goldsboro.
“The outgoing government has buried its head in the sand about the impact of the drugs epidemic on all of us. Meanwhile children of 12 years of age, and even younger, are being used by drugs gangs as runners before becoming roped into more serious criminality. Not only are young lives being put at risk, all of us feel less safe in our homes and communities as the situation escalates.
“A radical new approach is needed. At a minimum, garda numbers need to be brought up to 16,000 nationally. Gardaí must be resourced to operate 24-hour around the clock surveillance of the gang leaders that are controlling the sale and supply of drugs in our communities.
“We need to increase the resources of the Criminal Assets Bureau so they have the manpower they need to target the proceeds of drug crime as well as new laws giving gardaí the same powers with gang criminals as they have with the Provisional IRA. This would allow the “belief” of a Chief Superintendent that someone was involved in gangland crime to be introduced into evidence.
“I am calling for the establishment of a targeted community fund to tackle gang and drug violence alongside a dedicated information and education campaign. This will help to steer young people away from criminality before they become seriously involved”, concluded Cllr. Goldsboro.
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