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Home > 39. Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will make a statement on the position regarding the dial to stop drug dealing campaign. [8399/10]

[Oireachtas] 39. Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will make a statement on the position regarding the dial to stop drug dealing campaign. [8399/10]. (18 Feb 2010)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/02/18/00043...


Substance Misuse Strategy.

39. Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will make a statement on the position regarding the dial to stop drug dealing campaign; the effectiveness of same; and if extra funding will be allocated.
 
Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy John Curran): As the Deputy will be aware, the Dial to Stop Drug Dealing campaign ran in three phases — across 15 Local and Regional Drugs Task Force areas — in 2008 and 2009. To the end of last week, there were 5,845 calls made to the confidential line, with 1,627 reports being generated to the Gardaí.
 
Calls are spread right across the country, including areas that have not directly run a campaign, which highlights the fact that the confidential number is open to all to use regardless of the area one comes from. I understand that, in some cases, calls from areas that have already run campaigns are still being made to the confidential line.
 
The campaign has been well received by operational Gardaí deployed in the area of drug policing. I understand that the information received has led to seizures and is expected, ultimately, to lead to a number of prosecutions. It has also corroborated existing intelligence with regard to individuals and organised criminal networks. As such, the campaign provided a consistent channel for information to be passed from concerned members of the community right to the desk of those responsible for investigating drug offences.
 
A secondary consequence of the campaign, is the “silent effect” which must also be given due recognition. From a supply reduction perspective, those involved in the sale and supply of controlled substances take cognisance of how such campaigns increase their vulnerability and the likelihood of them coming to the attention of Gardaí. Though difficult to gauge, there is no doubt that this effect reduces open drug availability.
 
Due to the success of the campaign, I have again made funding available in 2010 to keep the phone line open. Over the coming months, I will be reviewing various options for further promotional campaigns, perhaps through a more centralised approach or through potential linkages with other campaigns and fora.
 
Vol. 702 No. 4  
Written answers – Substance Misuse Strategy
Thursday, 18 February 2010

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