Drug abuse an issue for ‘even the most rural villages’

By Alan Rodgers

ILLEGAL drugs use has now become an issue even in the most rural villages of Fermanagh, the PSNI’s District Commander for Fermanagh and Omagh has warned.
Figures released over recent years have highlighted the growing prevalence of many drugs – including so-called harder substances such as cocaine – across the North and rural areas have not escaped, according to Superintendent Mervyn Seffen.
But he said that this is partly due to the rising number of detections.
“Drugs are an issue right across the whole of the PSNI and that includes every town and village. So it is an issue, even in our more rural villages,” he said.
“But, as a district, it is one of our priorities. Last year, we had significant increase in the number of drug detections, arrests and searches.
“It’s something which is raised with men constantly and any information which we receive is looked at to ensure that it is actioned around dealing with the drugs issues.”
The District Commander also spoke about the impact of cross-border crime on rural areas.
“A survey last week showed that Fermanagh and Omagh is the safest district across to live. I don’t think cross-border crime is having the massive impact that perhaps the community believe is there,” he added.
“I haven’t seen Brexit having an impact on that and we do get mobile organised crime gangs coming across, but I don’t think it’s having a significant effect on the level of crime along the border communities.
“It is something that we are mindful of and have been dealing with along with our colleagues in An Garda Siochana.”

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