The discovery of £800 worth of cannabis resin by police last week in Omagh may not sound a lot compared to some major drugs seizures in Tyrone, however, it is the location where it was found that has caused most concern.
The cannabis resin was found outdoors in an area where children often play in Meelmore Drive (Strathroy) last Wednesday afternoon.
A police spokesman said the location of the find was as much a concern as the value of the drugs.
"The drugs were found in a grassy area where children often play. There was little significant sophistication in the way they were concealed and they could easily have been uncovered by a child," stated the police spokesperson.
"The use of illegal drugs is always to be condemned for the effects they pose on addicts, but to expose young children to the potential effects makes this all the more serious. Quite simply, anyone not realising what the drugs were could have come to significant harm."
Local Sinn Féin Cllr and member of Strathroy Community group, Martin McColgan has declared that activity such as this is not wanted in the area.
"This is not the first time drugs have been found in the area and there was danger in this instance that a child could have come across them," he said.
"Strathroy has been lucky that the drugs problem has not spread out of hand yet, the community do not want drugs in this area.
The community group and Sinn Féin will be working to make sure drugs are kept out of the area."
Cllr McColgan concluded, "Strathroy has made great progress, and what we don't want is individuals bringing drugs in here to obviously supply them to young people in the estate, undoing the good work that the community are doing."
Omagh Town UUP Cllr Ross Hussey has welcomed the recovery of £800 worth of cannabis expressing his serious concerns it could have easily have been found by children.
"When I initially was informed of the find my immediate reaction was one of shock that this amount of cannabis was abandoned in such a cavalier manner," declared Cllr Hussey.
"If the cannabis had been found by children I dread to think of the consequences had they decided to try and smoke it. I would have further concerns that clearly there is a dealer in the area who was prepared to abandon such a large amount of this drug and that he or she would clearly have access to large supplies.
"I would appeal to the residents of the area that have any information in relation to this find to inform the PSNI as the dangers that drugs cause to lives far outweigh any political agenda that would discourage passing information to the Police"
Anyone with information about drugs use in this or any other Omagh area, is asked to contact police.
Fear children could have found cannabis stash
Publication Ulster Herald
Thu, Dec 21, 2006
BY MARK MCKELVEY
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