Cllr Cadogan Enright has spoken out following last Mondays Community Safety Partnership meeting in Ardglass during which residents reported being able to buy “whatever you want” in terms of drugs in the village.
Cllr Enright believes reports that two issues concerned residents most –
1. The issue of Drugs being sold in the Town, and the carpark at the Marina got a special mention.
2. Young people being caught up in anti-social drinking, and plagueing the areas where they hang out to do this with nuisance, vandalism, noise and the debris of bottles and cans.
Cllr Enright said, “The point I made was that local elected representitives, with the support of the PSNI have the capacity to deal with these two issues, and they have been dealt with successfully before.”
“Local residents showed me where they believed drugs money was being collected in cars down at the Marina last October. In my capacity as a Policing Partnership member I took a PSNI inspector there and described what was happening and where the drugs were being collected at separate locations. I am disappointed that local people feel that the situation has not improved, as good information should have been acted upon before now. I have not received feed-back from the PSNI on this issue.”
“Separately, as I pointed out at the Ardglass meeting on Wednesday, I have successfully worked with residents in Killough to counter anti-socal drinking though getting a multi-agency approach to the problem. In particular we organised night-time and week-end joint patrols between Environmental Enforcement officers and the PSNI which had a tremendous effect in reducing the problem on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.”
“I said at the Ardglass meeting that the Council has cut the entire £14,000 budget for night-time and weekend joint patrols with the PSNI. This was a terrible mistake. I have had committments from Councillors from other parties to get this cut reviewed, as it could end up costing us in clean-up costs more money than it would save.”
“At last nights (Thursday the 10th) Down District Policing Partnership Meeting, I raised this issue, and recived unanimous support of all DPP members to write to Down Council and ask them to reverse this situation, as it was felt that we cannot leave the community with its most effective tool in tackling anti-social drinking – the combined powers of Environmental Enforecment and PSNI officers is sufficient to bring such behaviour to a rapid halt.”