£130,000 drug seizure 'a drop in the ocean'
Published: 10 May 2012 13:000 comments
A seizure of £130,000 worth of cannabis in Garrison at the weekend is "merely a drop in the ocean", an assembly member has warned.
After Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields vowed to wage war on drugs, officers uncovered a suspected cannabis factory in the Brollagh Road area of the village on Saturday. It followed the seizure of 24 cannabis plants in Belcoo two weeks ago and 800 cannabis plants, worth £350,000, in Coa at the end of March.
In an interview with The Impartial Reporter last month, Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields said: "Communities told us they had concerns in relation to drugs and we have responded to that".
But Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan believes more work is needed to combat the problem of "drug pushers" in Fermanagh, including introducing an education programme for young people.
"It is clear from both the quantity seized, and the reported quality of cannabis in question, that this was the work of a sophisticated and well-organised operation.
"This seizure has greatly disrupted one single operation, but it is merely a drop in the ocean when compared with the problem as a whole in Fermanagh and that is evidenced by the recent seizures in Belcoo and Coa," he said.
Mr. Flanagan believes the key to eradicating drug misuse is to combine the ongoing work of the PSNI with educating young people about the dangers.
"By showing people the damage that taking or dealing drugs can cause we can help them to make informed choices and remove the role of drug pushers in our society," he said.
Meanwhile, police are appealing to anyone with information on illegal drugs, cannabis factories or anyone that is selling drugs in Fermanagh to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.