Local election candidate Conor D. McGuinness has said that the problem of drug abuse and anti-social behaviour needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
The Sinn Féin representative said:
“Much has been said about the very real fear felt in rural communities due to an increase in thefts and the decrease in Garda numbers since the crash, however the rise in anti-social behaviour in urban areas has not received as much attention.
“Added to this is a growing problem with the abuse of illegal and addictive drugs. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that heroin addiction is on the rise in Dungarvan and theres not a week goes by that I don’t get a call about needles or other paraphernalia being left in public areas, often in car parks, alleyways or on footpaths.
“Anti-social behaviour in estates and in public amenities such as parks, playgrounds and sports facilities is causing real worry and hardship amongst residents and parents. There is also a tangible financial cost to the Council in terms of damage to property such as bins, signs and seats.
“Cuts to frontline policing and a hands-off approach by many agencies have allowed the problems of anti-social behaviour and drug abuse to take hold in our town.
“There is a reluctance locally to raising these concerns as its not good for the image of the town, however the problems exist and only local leadership and adequate resources will solve them.
“I have proposed simple steps such as better lighting around parks, playing fields and public areas; increased Garda patrols; a faster response to reports of needles and paraphenalia, and a coordinated approach involving all agencies, which would do much to address anti-social behaviour in Dungarvan. “