AN additional 100 Gardaí are needed in Limerick to tackle gangs and drug crime.
Limerick Sinn Féin TD, Maurice Quinlivan, also believes it’s time for the Criminal Assets Bureau to be expanded in Limerick and for the Government to amend the Proceeds of Crime Acts to ensure money seized goes back into communities affected by drugs.
He raised the issue in the Dáil this week during a debate on Dublin’s gangland murders. Stating that drugs are still a problem in Limerick, he called on the Government to publish legislation to deal with ongoing gangs and drug issues as a matter of urgency.
“What is happening in Dublin’s north inner city is appalling but drug crime is not confined to Dublin and it is wrong to assume drug crime has been eliminated in Limerick.
“Drugs are still a huge factor in the city’s informal economy and criminal elements continue to make huge profits while destroying communities and trading in misery. Limerick needs extra resources to fight this scourge and I am calling on the Minister for Justice to allocate an additional 100 Gardaí to the city.
“Its high time for the Criminal Assets Bureau to be expanded in Limerick and for the Government to amend the Proceeds of Crime Acts to ensure money seized by CAB goes back into communities affected by drugs.”
Deputy Quinlivan is also of the view that if it had the political will to fund community organisations, the Government could do so by diverting such funds to local drugs task force projects.
“The Mid-West Regional Drug and Alcohol Forum have taken cuts of more than 50 per cent since 2008. The cuts have impacted massively on the delivery of vital services that are urgently needed in Limerick City.
“The Minister must be imaginative and redirect money seized from criminals to directly fund organisations delivering these vital services in the field. This would be an important step in the battle against drug crime.”
There was no response from An Garda Síochána at the time of going to print.
by Alan Jacques