Home > Community responses to issues of safety and intimidation.

Connolly, Johnny (2010) Community responses to issues of safety and intimidation. In: Community drugs problem: defining the problem - defending the responses conference, 15 October 2010, Dublin.

PDF (A community drug problem - presentation) - Published Version

In his presentation, Johnny Connolly, from the Health Research Board, set the experiences of communities responding to issues of safety and intimidation in a broader context, with a view to informing future policy responses.

He argued that the issue of drug-related intimidation raises fundamental questions about the way in which the drugs issue has been responded to since its emergence in the late 1980's. That this is reflected in the way in which the drugs problem and drug-related crime has impacted so differently on different sections of Irish society. Drug problems do not impact evenly across classes, drug-related deaths, drug dependency, drug-related crime and drug-related intimidation, despite being highlighted in the media, impact on the most marginalised and deprived sectors of society. Many have argued that the response to the drug problem reflects the priorities of those dominant in society. A case in point is the head shop phenomenon, which crossed classes. It has been suggested that the rapid and determined political response to this issue reflects that reality.

Despite the seriousness of community-based intimidation and violence in certain communities, something which has been highlighted by a number of studies over the last decade, the issue has seldom appeared high on the agenda. Indeed this is the first conference where the issue has been raised specifically.

Johnny's presentation covers the following areas:
• Community anti-drug activity in the 1990's
• Responding to the crisis
• A changing drug market
• Consequences of violence and intimidation
• Drug markets and their host communities
• An Irish solution - informed by international best practice
• Monitoring and evaluating success and failure

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