Mark Ward TD has called in money seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau to be put back into the communities that have been most affected by crime. During a debate on promised legislation yesterday Deputy Ward asked the Taoiseach directly if he would support such a move. The Taoiseach responded that resources for communities should be co-ordinated through the Exchequer, not necessarily coming from CAB. Deputy Ward said the money seized by CAB must be put back into the communities in which the criminals and drug dealers were operating in.
Speaking recently Deputy Ward said: “The vast majority of the money seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau has been extracted from the communities in which the criminals have been active. It must therefore be returned to these communities. “Sinn Féin has always advocated that any money seized by CAB be ring-fenced and put back into communities to tackle disadvantage and to fund prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services in the fight against drugs. “I represent Dublin Mid West and grew up in North Clondalkin. Parts of my constituency have been ripped apart from drug use over the years. “I have seen whole families wiped out. We now have in some cases 3 generations of addicts from the one family. This is not a failure by these families but more a symptom of years of systemic underinvestment in certain areas.
“It does not happen by accident that most of the money seized by CAB originates in areas that are highly disadvantaged. The fact that the Taoiseach said that this money then reverts to the exchequer and not put directly into community services is wrong and has not worked. “Its like disadvantaged communities are being subjected to double tax. “At a time when we are witnessing significant increases in drug dealing and abuse, we are also seeing funding cut for vital drug and mental health projects. This will have a detrimental impact on these communities. “I am calling on the Minister for Finance to use the money seized by CAB to reverse the cuts and increase funding to community and drug projects throughout the state. “I believe that all money seized by CAB should be pumped back into the communities in which the criminals were most active.”