Revealed: Police seize drugs worth £50,000 on streets of Coalisland

The true extent of Coalisland’s drugs issues can be revealed today as new figures show drugs worth a total of £50,000 have been seized in the town.

Figures uncovered by Coalisland Post show the PSNI seized drugs in Coalisland worth an estimated street value of £50,000 over the course of last year.

A total of 40 incidents allegedly involving drugs were reported to the PSNI during 2011 – a rate of more than three every month.

Crowds took part in a demonstration against the area’s drugs issues in April

Police officers carried out a total of 26 house searches and one area search last year over suspected drugs offences.

Officers also arrested 12 people in the town over alleged drug-dealing offences, while six people were arrested over drugs possession.

The statistics were revealed to Coalisland Post following a Freedom of Information request submitted to the PSNI.

PSNI representatives attended a public meeting at the Parochial Centre in May to address residents’ concerns Photo: Enda McCusker

Concerns over drugs issues in Coalisland have grown over recent months following reports of teenagers being caught up in the illegal activity, with a series of public meetings and a mass demonstration being held in protest.

Coalisland parish priest Fr Paul Byrne said the estimated street value was a “huge figure by local standards”, adding that it showed concerns over drug activity in the town were justified.

But Fr Byrne also said the statistics showed more calls needed to be made from members of the public to the police.

Last month, the PSNI told residents at a public meeting in Coalisland that cannabis, mephedrone, ecstasy and heroin were the main illegal drugs available in the district.

Church of Ireland minister Rev Andrew Rawding speaking to residents at a public meeting in May Photo: Enda McCusker

But officers said that although police have seized crystal meths in other parts of the north, they have yet to find it in the local district.

The PSNI has boosted its policing presence in Coalisland from six officers to 10 officers as a result of the public outcry over the town’s drugs issues.

Plans are also being discussed to install new CCTV cameras in parts of the town.

Anti-drugs community group Coalisland Cares told the Tyrone Times that an independent private company would be in charge to of the security cameras.

The PSNI is to meet with Dungannon council’s chief executive to discuss potential providers of CCTV for the town.

Meanwhile, Paddy Linden has been elected as chair of Coalisland Cares, with Yvonne Donnelly as vice chair.

Seanan Cummings will act as treasurer for the group and Ciara McLernon has become secretary.


Related stories:

>‘Any town would be proud’: Youth groups showcase positive side to Coalisland following drugs fears

>Police under pressure to attend public meeting on Coalisland drugs issues – but allegedly say: ‘We’re not ready’


What do you think of Coalisland’s drug issues? What do you think of the PSNI’s work in the area? Share your views by commenting below


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