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Home > 139. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs the actions he has taken to address the increases in drug possession and supply recorded offences in Ireland since 2003.

[Oireachtas] 139. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs the actions he has taken to address the increases in drug possession and supply recorded offences in Ireland since 2003. (24 Nov 2010)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/11/24/00106...


139.  Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs the actions he has taken to address the increases in drug possession and supply recorded offences in Ireland since 2003 where controlled drug offences, possession of drugs for sale or supply and possession of drugs for personal use has seen an increase in offences of over 100% in each case; his views on the national drug strategy in addressing such major problems; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): The table sets out Drug-Related Crime Offences (Number) by Type of Offence and Year for the period 2004-2009, as recorded by the Central Statistics Office. As the Deputy has indicated, there has been a marked increase in the number of offences over that period.

 

The Key Performance Indicators for the supply reduction pillar of the National Drug Strategy 2001-2008 were:

  • ·         to increase the volume of drugs seized by 50% based on 2000 figures;
  • ·         to increase the number of seizures by 20% based on 2004 figures; and
  • ·         to increase the number of supply detections by 20% based on 2004 figures.

All of these Indicators were surpassed.

 

The increases in seizures represent important operational successes for the law enforcement agencies and reflect the ongoing co-operation between An Garda Síochána and Revenue’s Customs Service, as well as the intelligence-led approach being utilised. The focus on supply reduction continues under the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016.

 

In terms of drugs law enforcement, drugs and organised crime are being prioritised by An Garda Síochána as a core focus for 2010, through the Garda Síochána Policing Plan. Drugs Units are in place in every Garda Division and they work in partnership with the Garda National Drugs Unit in tackling and targeting drug-related crime.

 

Divisional and District Policing Plans reflect the focus of the overall Policing Plan in terms of drugs law enforcement. In addition, An Garda Síochána has strong and strategic partnerships in place at international level that target drug trafficking. An Garda Síochána is satisfied that a significant impact has been made more recently by the arrest and prosecution of a number of major players involved in the trafficking of drugs. Also, while the trend for drug-related crime offences is upward from 2004 to 2009, some of the 2009 figures show reductions on the previous year. An Garda Síochána views this as reflecting a reducing market caused by a number of factors, including proactive law enforcement activities and the economic downturn.

 

I am fully committed to the implementation of the supply reduction actions of the National Drugs Strategy. Combined with initiatives in the areas of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research, I am confident that the Strategy will impact very significantly on the drugs problem in Ireland.

 

Recorded Drug Related Crime Offences (Number) by Type of Offence and Year (Source CSO)

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Controlled drug offences

9,868

13,322

14,234

18,554

23,405

21,983

Importation of drugs

36

36

43

54

67

46

Cultivation or manufacture of drugs

38

50

92

161

218

273

Possession of drugs for sale or supply

2,196

2,659

3,018

3,602

4,302

4,029

Written Answers – National Drugs Strategy
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Vol. 723 No. 3

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