Tuesday 24 October 2017

Agencies to tackle West Street issues

Begging and drug dealing are now major headache for authorities

Drogheda's main street needs to clean up its act - with begging, drug dealing and abuse of the alcohol bylaws just some of the concerns of local traders.

Calls have been made for increased resources to be deployed to curb the increase in begging on Drogheda's West Street.

The area has seen a marked increase in the number of people begging on a daily basis, with homeless people also sleeping overnight in shop entrances.

'Whatever the circumstances are, there is an increase in the number of people looking for money on the town's main street and people, especially, older people, are feeling intimidated by it,' one trader told the Drogheda Independent this week.

'It must be tackled, along with the drug use and drinking in public. We have to clean up our act as far as West Street is concerned,' they added.

They say that drug dealing is on the increase in locations around the main thoroughfare.

The appeal comes in advance of a public meeting, hosted by the gardai and council in the Westcourt Hotel on Monday, October 9th (7.30pm).

Gardai have been on the streets in a bid to curb the issues.

'An Garda Siochana acknowledge the recent upsurge in street begging and in some cases drinking on the streets in Drogheda,' Supt Andrew Watters stated.

' This problem had reduced considerably as a result of a previous initiatives by the Gardai. The problem is a mixture of begging, primarily by non Irish nationals.'

Gardai have also had to deal with a rise in the number of homeless people now living on the streets.

They say there has been 'an increased number of homeless males in Drogheda in recent weeks.'

He feels the present situation is 'not the image I want to see for Drogheda' and matters will be tackled.

'A new focused initiative working with other agencies will be put in place,' he advised.

Drogheda Independent