The Ulster Unionist Party’s South Belfast MLA, Michael McGimpsey, has called for tougher sentences for those convicted of the supply and distribution of drugs.
At Department of Justice question time at the Northern Ireland Assembly Mr McGimpsey raised the increasing problem of drugs on the streets of South Belfast and across Northern Ireland.
Mr McGimpsey said;
‘I am calling on the Justice Minister David Ford to increase sentences and punishments for offenders involved in the drug trade at every level. I am being contacted by constituents and communities across South Belfast who are deeply concerned by the very evident drugs trade on our streets.’
“The people involved in this illegal trade have no thought for those they are selling these instruments of death to, nor the effect it has on our communities. Along with the various drug finds and cannabis factories uncovered, known dealers are openly trading on our busy streets and in our play parks. This is completely unacceptable and must be tackled head on before these people are allowed to get a stronger hold on our young people and our community.’
“I believe the lack of deterrent in what is a very lucrative trade is only serving to grow the illicit trade.’
“I am calling on the judicial system to act now and support the police who are barely able to cope with the additional pressure. It is essential that the Justice Department and the courts make it easier for the police to catch these people and put them behind bars for longer for the sake of all our young people.”