Cllr Rasmussen Say We Need To Call Time On Our Underage Drink And Drug Culture

By Seamus Whelehan

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Cork County Council’s drugs and alcohol task force have been asked to develop preventative strategies to tackle drug and alcohol use amongst our underage population.
The move comes following a motion tables by Councillor Cathal Rasmussen at this week’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC)
He told senior Garda management in Cork County, there is a troubling number of our youth who are trying alcohol and drugs and even drinking on a regular basis.
The Cobh based Cllr said more needs to be done to tackle “this age-old problem”.
“Gardaí need to be more proactive with local groups and parents and deal more openly with the issue.”
“Society have come to accept this drinking and drug culture but it’s time to change people’s attitudes” he said.
Suzanne Costello CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland says “Alcohol related harm in Ireland claims 3 lives a days and costs the state €3.7 billion annually, putting a strain on our already overstretched health service. Alcohol also plays a major role in a wide range of other serious issues for Irish society, such as crime, suicide and child welfare.”
Failure to deal with the crisis among our young people now will result in terrible health problems in the future, commented Cllr Rasmussen.
Over the three month period April to June Gardaí in Cork County assisted by teenagers, carried out 13 test alcohol purchases checks.
4 premises out of the 13 failed, in that alcohol was sold to a minor. The figures were released as Senior Gardaí revealed that drunkenness and minor assaults are on the increase across the county.
Drink driving detections are also up by almost 30% in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2016.
312 people were detained for drunkenness offences and 325 incidents of minor assault were also recorded across the county between April and June.
JPC Vice Chairman Cllr Timmy Collins said lax parents were to blame for teenage boozing. He said education was needed to break the national addiction.
Superintendent Ger Dillane said the force would welcome any strategy that would deal with the issue of alcohol and drug use among our youth.
The senior garda who is responsible for Fermoy and East Cork said underage drinking increases during the summer months, and while the “Gardaí can’t be everywhere all of the time society must play its part also.”
While superintendent Con Cadogan said he would like to see legislation introduced whereby the barcode of a product can be traced back to the store it came from, which would assist the force in their detection rates.

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