Residents demand drugs ‘clampdown’

Residents in the Cline Road estate are calling on local authorities and public representatives to use all their power to clamp down on drug dealers following a possible drugs link to the sudden death of 20-year-old Matthew Dougan.

Matthew Dougan was found at a house in the Cline Road area of the town at 6.30 on Friday evening.

Another man in the house was taken to hospital, where he is said to be in a stable condition.

A PSNI spokeswoman added that their investigation is in the very early stages and said they are awaiting the results of a post-mortem and toxicology tests.

A resident living in the area said that they hoped the issue will be at the top of the agenda at a meeting of the local community association this week.

“We want the area to be a safe place for our children growing up in and we need to get these drug dealers out of the estate, out of Banbridge and taken out of society,” they said.

“I am calling on the local authorities, MP and MLAs to use their power to get the drug dealers out.”

The development comes after the Leader reported last week concerns expressed by the Cline Road Community Association that “law biding families” in the area are being treated like “second class citizens”.

The claims were being directed against the Housing Executive, who the association allegedly claimed were “moving bad elements” into the area.

“Something has to be done but the Housing Executive aren’t listening”, claimed a representative from the community association last week..

“Some of the tenants they are moving in aren’t welcome in the area if they are dealing drugs and causing trouble. It’s not on and it’s not acceptable.”

However, the Housing Exective strongly refuted the claims, saying it takes “all reports of dissatisfaction or complaint very seriously”.

A spokesperson for the Housing Executive continued, “In Banbridge we have a long and successful history of working with all Community Groups building a reputation for listening to the views of both individuals and local communities proving responsive and innovative in our approach.

“All Housing Executive properties are allocated in accordance with the Housing Selection Scheme - a tight statutory framework – and totally on the basis of housing need.

“The Housing Executive is always happy to attend meetings to try to resolve any ongoing or new issues in an open and transparent way.”