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Home > 701. Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will ring-fence moneys seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau for drug treatment and rehabilitation services. [15158/07]

[Oireachtas] 701. Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will ring-fence moneys seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau for drug treatment and rehabilitation services. [15158/07]. (24 Apr 2007)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2007/04/24/00503...


Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): In principle, I would welcome the use of moneys seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) for drug prevention and drug treatment programmes. Indeed, my officials have explored this idea previously. However, the critical issue is the level of overall funding made available for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy and in that regard I am fully satisfied with the amount of €50m made available this year. An allocation of €50m has been made to my Department’s Vote for the Drugs Initiative/Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund in 2007. This represents an increase of 16% on the 2006 allocation and a massive 59% increase on the 2005 figure. In addition, well over €200m is being provided by the Government across a number of other Departments and agencies to tackle the drugs problem this year. Overall, therefore, I am satisfied that current Government expenditure on drugs is sufficient to meet demands. Question No. 702 answered with Question No. 59. 703. Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on the need for increased community policing as promised under the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15160/07]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): I acknowledge the value of community policing and support the development of appropriate Community Policing Fora, in line with Action 11 of the National Drugs Strategy. To date, three Community Policing Fora have been established in the Finglas, Blanchardstown and North Inner City (Dublin) Local Drugs Task Force areas. Meanwhile, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, Joint Policing Committees are to be established in each of the 114 Local Authority administrative areas throughout the State. These Committees, 22 of which have been established on a pilot basis, will bring together public representatives as well as representatives of Local Authorities, an Garda Síochána, and the community and voluntary sectors to discuss and make recommendations on matters affecting the policing of their areas. At the same time, An Garda Síochána, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, are engaged in discussions with the relevant players about how best to progress the development of Community Policing Fora within the overarching structure of the Joint Policing Committees. Funding of €14m has been allocated to that Department under the National Development Plan (2007-2013) to develop the Community Policing Fora structures over the lifetime of the Plan. Vol. 636 No. 1 Written Answers Tuesday, 24 April 2007

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