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Pills and cannabis worth £500,000 seized from youth club and unoccupied house

By Angela Rainey

Published 02/04/2016

Some of the drugs seized by police
Some of the drugs seized by police

Police have seized £500,000 of cannabis and prescription drugs in separate operations.

Officers confiscated £300,000 of marijuana from an unoccupied house in Craighill in the Ballycraigy area of Antrim yesterday.

The prescription drugs, meanwhile, were seized after being found at the back of a youth club in Glenavy on Thursday.

A teenager believed to have taken some of the tablets required medical attention but suffered no lasting injuries.

PSNI Detective Sergeant McAuley said: "This has taken a substantial amount of drugs out of circulation and reduced the harm they cause to communities.

"This is an ongoing example of how the PSNI is keeping people safe while policing in the community."

A police spokesman added: "Police in Lisburn received a report of young people finding and taking prescription drugs in the Main Street area of Glenavy at 9.20pm on Thursday. Officers attended and recovered a quantity of prescription drugs. One teenage male who had taken medication was located and advised to seek medical advice."

UUP MLA Adrian Cochrane Watson said that more needed to be done to keep dealers off the streets.

He also told how workers at Parkhall Integrated Youth Club in Antrim confiscated cannabis last week that was bought by three 12-year-old boys who had clubbed their money together to buy it.

"The issue here is that 12-year-olds are able to buy drugs easier than a bottle of beer or cider," Mr Cochrane Watson said.

"Parents have thought they were giving their kids a fiver for a packet of crisps and a bottle of Coca-Cola, never suspecting their kids might be buying drugs with it. It goes to show you how low dealers will go - to sell to kids at a youth club. They know if they can get them hooked on dope, then they'll move on to the harder stuff and when they can't afford that, they will end up dealing for them."

Mr Watson claimed that while the community would be pleased with the seizures, he feared peer pressure was forcing young people into trying drugs.

"There's nothing glamorous about taking drugs, nothing at all, but these young people spending their money on trying drugs is worrying," he added. "It seems no one at that age likes to be different, and dealers know that.

"Where there is a group of kids with money, there will be repeat business for dealers. More needs to be done to stop the kids from wanting to experiment bowing to peer pressure from their mates.

"The dealers don't care and even though £300,000 of the stuff has been removed and won't be on the streets this weekend, for every dealer prosecuted there's another dozen waiting to fill their shoes.

"Let's not be naive about this, one seizure is not going to stop the sale of drugs overnight."

Anyone with information about drug dealing is asked to contact the PSNI on 101. Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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