Dial 2 Stop Drug Dealing
- New initiative welcomed to tackle drug dealing -
Welcoming the launch of the new national confidential telephone number which allows members of the public to report drug dealing activity in their area. Fianna Fáil County Councillor Cormac Devlin said that this “new free-phone telephone number 1800 220 220 has been set-up to help combat drug dealing in any areas across Ireland to prevent drug dealing from happening and passing on vital information to the relevant authorities.
Councillor Devlin, who also serves as a member of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Drugs Task Force stated “any Individual or community group impacted by the devastating scourge of drugs are urged to call the number and report (in confidence) any illegal activities in an area. This initiative provides for a safe, confidential and completely anonymous way for individuals to pass on sensitive and potentially incriminating information on drug dealing in an area.”
The freephone number and website was launched by Minister of State John Curran TD, who has responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs recently. The Minister was also joined at the launch by Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael McCarthy.
A pre-campaign poll in the participating areas has revealed significant public support for an anti-drug dealing initiative with the majority polled showing a civic conscience and a desire to play a part in reducing the presence of drugs in their own communities.
Some 64% of those polled identified drugs as a main social problem in their area. 66% of people reported that they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to call a non-Garda confidential telephone number to give information on drug activity in their area. People in drug blackspots such as Balanchardstown, Tallaght, Cork city and the Midlands were most likely to ring a non-Garda number.
The individual is never asked for their name, their address or any other information which might identify them. They can rest assured knowing that the person answering their calls will not know them and will not recognise their voice. The information is then passed directly onto An Garda Síochána”.
Speaking at the launch, Minister John Curran, said: “I am calling on any person with information on drug dealing in their local area, be it first or second hand information, to call the Dial to Stop freephone number 1800 220 220 today. Anyone who calls this number can be completely assuredthat their information will be treated with the strictest confidentiality. They will not be asked for their name, or any other information that will identify them in any way. I would urge communities involved in the campaign to make the most of this service and to take control of the future of their communities. We cannot let the dealers determine the lives of future generations. Dial to stop drug dealing today.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael McCarthy commented: “People in Blanchardstown used the freephone number to convey very valuable information on drug dealing in their area. Court actions are pending because of the success of that campaign. This national initiative is about getting at the big dealers who are targeting our young people and destroying communities. People can reclaim their communities by using this safe and confidential mechanism to pass on their information.”
NOTES TO EDITOR:
The new campaign follows the successful pilot project run by the Blanchardstown Local Drugs Task Force in 2006 when Ireland’s first ever non-Garda confidential phone line was used to collected information on drug dealing in the Dublin 15 area. Dial to stop drug dealing will be rolled out in a series of local campaigns in 15 local or regional drugs task force areas around the country. Phase One areas will include Tallaght, Blanchardstown, Co Kildare (Celbridge, Naas, Athy and Newbridge), Dublin North East area (including Coolock, Donaghmede, Kilbarrack, Clarehall, Clonshaugh and Howth) and Dublin's North Inner City.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Councillor Cormac Devlin on 2750786