Crowe highlights problem of child drug couriers
Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has called for new legislation and a different response from the government to the growing problem of children being used as drug couriers.
The Sinn Féin TD raised the issue in the Dáil and quoted from a report released by the Blanchardstown Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force that highlighted children were being used to deal drugs. The average reported age of drug dealers in the area is 13 years old, with the youngest just 8 years old.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“The report by the Blanchardstown Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force that highlighted that children were dealing drugs there has brought a dose of reality to the challenges facing many communities, including my own constituency of Dublin South West. The report found that the average age of drug dealers in the area was 13 years old, with the youngest just 8 years old.
“We know that drug intimidation is widespread. Many young people caught with large amounts of drugs then have the debt follow them or their families after they are convicted. Young people are also used to collect these debts and other children of the family involved again being threatened.
“Illicit drugs are widely available and sold openly with cocaine and crack cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs leading the demand.
“The nature of drug dealing has also changed in recent times. The Blanchardstown report calls for additional sentencing for drug barons that use children to deliver or sell their drugs and I support this call. The government and An Garda Síochána also need to make areas where young people socialise and go to school drug free zones.
“I want to welcome the Blanchardstown Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force report as it brings greater clarity to the challenge of drug dealing. It puts additional responsibilities on the government to act and also on all of us as legislators to respond to the emerging needs in communities.
“Illicit drugs are being sold openly by children as young as 8 years old who are caught up in criminality and face a bleak future. We need to respond to this latest challenge collectively and urgently.”