Drug-related intimidation exists in both urban and rural settings in Waterford.
That was one of the points made at this week's Waterford Community Safety Partnership meeting.
Detective Inspector Donal Donohue addressed members in City Hall on Monday and highlighted the work that the Drug Related Intimidation Programme is doing locally.
Members heard how this issue now exists across all socio-economic classes.
Detective Inspector Donohoe says the programme in Waterford is doing what it can to help people.
He added:" We are seeing in the last number of years, where one person owes a drug debt, it has an impact on the extended family and this is a relatively new feature of the drug scene.
"A whole family can be affected by one person owing the money.
"The type of intimidation ranges from threats, violence, criminal damage, assault, sexual violence, and hostile takeovers."
The purpose of this programme is to respond to the needs of people and family members who are experiencing drug-related intimidation. A Garda Inspector is nominated in every Garda Division to respond to the issue. Individuals and family members experiencing intimidation can make contact with the local Inspector through their local Garda Station for an informal or formal meeting.
Inspector Donohoe says that the Gardaí engage with all community groups to ensure the safety of people experiencing this type of situation.
"In a lot of cases we see that people report it to us more seeking our support than to begin the criminal justice process.
"When that happens we provide practical safety information and the advice and guidance of the crime prevention officer is offered.
"[There are] patrols of the area, engagement with the individual, families, and communities."
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