THERE has been cross party praise for the police following an Operation Torus seizure of over £200,000 of drugs in Coleraine.
Two men appeared in court last week in connection with the seizure which was made on Friday, September 28.
Commending the police, councillor Willie McCandless said: “The scourge of drugs is a very real and present danger on our streets and we need to do all within our power to protect our vulnerable young people from this threat.
“We need to consider not only the danger to health but the life of misery they can contribute to. Those who have insufficient funds to feed this habit can also be lured into a life of crime.”
Councillor McCandless called on the public to support the police where possible. “It is important that all sections of the community support the P.S.N.I. in the painstaking work they do to rid the streets of this scourge on our society and hopefully apprehend those who are getting rich by immoral earnings without any care or regard to who gets damaged in the process., he said.
“Some of our young people mistakenly refer to ‘recreational drugs’. To my knowledge recreation is activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. Taking drugs is a very dangerous recreation.
“I would appeal to our young people to take as their role models young men such as Richard and Peter Chambers and Alan Campbell and get involved in sport for healthy recreation.”
UUP councillor, David Barbour, describing the recent seizure as “significant”, added that young people did not know exactly the substances they were taking.
“ Drugs are highly dangerous especially in the hands of people who are not qualified doctors and pharmacists who administer them under controlled conditions and according to prescribing law.
“The back entry boys are only interested in enslaving mostly the young into a murky world where their overall health is destroyed and they may be drawn into additional criminal behaviour. The motives of these ruthless operatives is filthy lucre irrespective of human cost.
“Many of us can sympathize with anyone drawn into a drug dependency state to try and create experiences they may think allows them to escape the realities of dissatisfactions in life, but this does not work and there are health and social services available to them ready and willing to help them in their need.
“I would advise anyone who has been made a prisoner of ‘the habit’ to seek the kindness, understanding and compassion of their doctor who will provide the support you need to be released from the powers of ruthless criminals.
“Your life is precious, irrespective of your current circumstances, the public services value you as a person and have staff who are waiting for your call. I suggest your first call is to you family doctor who cares for your general health and welfare”.
SDLP MLA, John Dallat said he hoped the police success would encourage the public to “become even more alert to this scourge in every neighbourhood.”
He went on: “The success of the PSNI depends on good intelligence built up over a period of time and it is here the public have a crucial role to play.
“Anything suspicious should be reported immediately. It won’t mean an immediate raid but it may be highly valuable in building up justification for a search and arrest operation directed at the drugs barons who are destroying the lives of our young people.
“All political parties have a serious responsibility to support the police and work with them so that we are all pulling in the same direction for the peaceful, stable and drug-free society we want for our children and grandchildren.”