Concerns have been raised about a major drugs problem in the local area.
DUP MLA Sydney Anderson addressed the “drug plague” during a recent debate in the NI Assembly, citing figures from the PSNI.
The Upper Bann DUP MLA said, “I felt that this debate provided an important opportunity for me to raise the ongoing problem of drugs within our own constituency of Upper Bann and also right across Northern Ireland. I spoke about a “drug plague” because the facts clearly show that drugs continue to blight our communities and devastate families.”
Mr Anderson said that, between the beginning of May 2015 and the end of April 2016, “391 drug-related incidents were reported to the PSNI in the Portadown, Banbridge, Gilford, Lurgan and Craigavon areas.”
“Figures such as these clearly demonstrate the pain and destruction that drugs continue to inflict on our communities,” he said. “Whilst the PSNI, statutory agencies, the Public Health Agency and the voluntary and community sector have done much to tackle the drugs scourge, drugs still continue to blight our society. I made the point that the community as a whole needs to unite to tackle this problem head on. In particular the PSNI, the local policing and community safety partnerships, schools, youth groups and other community groups have a very important duty to challenge the problems drugs pose.
“Overall it was positive to see the Assembly adopting one strong voice of opposition to drugs and the problems they present. A clear message was sent out from the Assembly that those who peddle drugs and inflict misery and pain on individuals and their families will not be tolerated.”