Young drug dealers need to be targeted

DRUGS are a major scourge of society - and Ipswich has more reason than most communities to be concerned about their impact following the horrors of Steve Wright's murderous spree.

DRUGS are a major scourge of society - and Ipswich has more reason than most communities to be concerned about their impact following the horrors of Steve Wright's murderous spree.

His victims all put themselves in a position of danger because of their reliance on hard drugs - and it has long been accepted that it is the drug dealers that need to be targeted, not the users who are the real victims of this evil trade.

In the past dealers have been shadowy adults who know better and are prepared to trade on other people's misery.

Now there is a disturbing trend developing in Ipswich - younger people are taking over as drug dealers and peddling misery among their own peers.

It is frightening that over the last three years alone 159 youngsters under the age of 18 have been convicted of drug-dealing.

And of those who have been arrested as a result of Operation Academy - targeted at 'outside' drugs gangs moving into Ipswich - 38 per cent are aged under 21.

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Of course most of these youngsters are not the “Mr Bigs” of the Ipswich drugs scene. They are the mules, the footsoldiers sent out on to the streets with instructions to keep their mouths shut if caught.

It is disturbing that those further up the drugs supply line are now prepared to use younger people to do their dirty work.

And it is equally frightening that there are apparently so many youngsters prepared to get themselves ensnared into this evil trade.

Of course many of them will have started as drug users who have been forced into a more active role to pay off their debts - the victims of an appalling vicious circle that the police have great difficulty in breaking.

WHAT a magnificent effort from everyone at this year's Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.

Despite all the doom and gloom about the credit crunch, the sparkling event still managed to smash its target and raise £25,000 for charities Disability Care Enterprise and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

It was wonderful to have so many people having such a great time raising money for such worthy causes in a glitter-filled night topped with real Eurovision stars, The Original Buck's Fizz.

Fabian Wilnis was one of the guests of honour as the evening celebrated all that was good in Suffolk - his contribution to the county has gone far beyond the four stands of Portman Road and everyone will be wishing him all the best in his testimonial year over the next 12 months.

SOMETHING seems very amiss! After a superb Sunday, forecasters are predicting a fine start to the Wimbledon fortnight for the best part of the coming week.

After all the rain and low temperatures we have had so far this year, that seems barely credible.

In fact some of the forecasts we had at the start of the weekend suggested anyone planning outdoor events would have been foolhardy at best.

In the end we were able to enjoy hours in our gardens, or walks in the country - it was a perfect day to recharge the batteries before the start of the new working week.

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