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Teenagers involved with drugs are “younger and younger” in Co Clare, a meeting of the Joint Policing Committee was informed.

Gardaí in Clare recorded a 43 percent reduction in the instances of persons arrested for simple possession of drugs from when figures from January to March of 2020 are compared with the same time period this year.

Sale and supply of drug offences increased by three to 25 which equates as a 14 percent increase for the same window of time.

Speaking at a meeting of the Clare Joint Policing Committee (JPC), community activist Dermot Hayes shared his angst with the ages of persons getting involved in the drug trade. “I would also be concerned about the ages of younger people getting involved in the distribution of drugs around Clare.

“They’re getting younger and younger, some of them are only sixteen years of age which is very disturbing,” the Corofin native stated.

Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran outlined, “It is safe to say drugs taking has increased nationally at all levels, there is evidence that more and more people are involved and from all walks of society”.

Colleran acknowledged that members of the public can become frustrated but stressed that when information on personnel involved in drug taking or suspicious patterns is received by An Garda Síochána that action is taken. “In order to stop and address this issue, we need to get to the people organising it,” he commented.

A dedicated drugs unit is in operation in the Clare Garda Division, the Chief Supt confirmed. . Different Gardaí are added to this unit on a rotational basis, he told the meeting.

Continued monitoring must be maintained, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) believed, “it is something we can’t take the pedal off”. He welcomed the role of the drugs unit.

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