North-East Dublin residents feel unsafe due to drug related intimidation

David O'Sullivan

A quarter of North-East Dubliners have experienced drug related intimidation according to a report published  on January 26th.

Open drug dealing and low level intimidation makes residents in Dublin’s North East feel unsafe and avoid certain areas, according to the ‘Debts, Threats, Distress and Hope’ report by the Ana Liffey Drug Project.

83 per cent of the almost 500 surveyed people thought drug related intimidation was an issue in their community, while 23 per cent had personally experienced intimidation.

Of the group who had experienced intimidation, 67 per cent had been threatened with physical harm, 53 per cent had been stalked, 45 per cent had been threatened with vandalism and 12 per cent were threatened with sexual violence.

The most cited reason for drug related intimidation was owing money for drugs. Other reasons included publicly opposing the drugs trade or cooperating with police authorities. 41 per cent of the surveyed group rated their area as ‘unsafe’ or ‘very unsafe.’

Reasons the community feels unsafe include vandalism of community property, increased violence amongst drug dealers, overt drug dealing, normalization of the drug trade and decreased confidence in the police.

Michael Stone, of the project, said: “Regeneration must start at the core of the community to provide a safe environment to live and work.”

The project recommends keeping intervention at a local level and placing the community at the center of the issue. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said during the report’s release, it “resonated very strongly with me and reminds me of what more we need to do and what progress we need to make.”

Donohue would like to see the report repeated over time to analyze the effect of policies in place.

The report was done through an online survey of locals to the area, focus groups of people working in services catering to drug related intimidation and interviews with those who were affected.

The survey was done entirely with men over the age of eighteen and began in September 2019.

David O’Sullivan

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