Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 99 - Crime prevention [12704/11].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 99 - Crime prevention [12704/11]. (24 May 2011)

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99. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the number of dogs in each Customs dog unit; and his plans to increase the number of dogs. [12704/11]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan):  I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their Customs Service currently deploys 13 units, each comprising a detector dog and handler, at strategic locations throughout the country. The dogs are used to detect drugs, tobacco and cash. Passive dogs are used as this allows for the screening of passengers as well as merchandise and baggage. The detector dog units play an important role in delivering on Revenue’s commitments to the Supply Reduction Pillar of the Government National Drugs Strategy. In keeping with these commitments Revenue has considerably enhanced its drug detection capability on a number of fronts in recent years. Dog teams also play a key role in detecting illicit tobacco products and the transit of cash derived from criminal activity. The number of dog units was increased from 6 in 1993 to 9 in 2003 and it now stands at 13.

Revenue carries out ongoing assessment of the drugs, tobacco and currency smuggling risks and allocates additional resources where necessary. While the dog units are primarily stationed within their region of assignment, they are available for deployment elsewhere when appropriate. The Revenue Commissioners have recently approved the establishment of an additional tobacco detector dog unit. It is envisaged that this unit will become operational in 2012.
As part of its strategy Revenue ensures that the detector dog units maintain a high public visibility at the ports, airports, postal depots and freight forwarding premises in which they routinely operate. The Customs dog units also assist An Garda Síochána in the course of operations, when their presence is requested.
Written Answers – National Drugs Strategy
Vol. 733 No. 1
Tuesday, 24 May 2011

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