'Only way to eradicate drugs scourge is to remove the dealers' - Derry TodayIn this exclusive interview with the 'Derry Journal', the leadership of Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) outlines its determination to "remove the scourge of drug dealing from within the local community."
Since its inception almost 12 months ago, the organisation is now – rightly or wrongly – considered by many to be at the cutting edge of eradicating drug dealing in the North West.
"Our objectives are very simple. We are determined to rid the local community of these individuals. We view them as career criminals whose activities have ruined the lives of so many young people in the past and we're not prepared to tolerate that any longer.”
"We have been involved in several operations, with active service units punishing those we know are involved in dealing drugs to vulnerable members of the community in Derry. Other dealers have been told to leave the city and never return - or suffer the consequences.”
The RAAD leadership also confirmed that some of its members have, in the past, been involved in the Provisional IRA. "Some of our members had been members of the IRA, others have not," said a member of the leadership.”
“Our amnesty remains in place, as it always has done. It's an avenue that has been taken by former dealers and that avenue remains open to those who genuinely wish to cease their activities. Our advice is to take that into consideration or, alternatively, suffer the consequences in the fullness of time."
As little sympathy as I have for drug dealers, I’m not certain what is the best action to combat the effects hard drugs have on communities.I realise that the provies had some success in Dublin in years gone by, but the effect was not widespread.
Carrying on from the cannabis thread, would legalising harder drugs have a positive effect? I’m not looking for moralistic arguments about how wrong it is to shoot someone.
Is it a case of if someone wants drugs, there isn’t much that can be done or can some people be prevented from ever accessing drugs in the first place if areas are cleared of drug dealers?