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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written Answer 477 - Drugs crime [1769/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written Answer 477 - Drugs crime [1769/15]. (14 Jan 2015)


477. Deputy Robert Troyasked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to address the increasing concerns surrounding illegal drug use in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1769/15]

 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Deputy will appreciate that tackling the problem of drug misuse remains one of the most complex challenges that we face.

 

The Government's overall response to the problem is set out in the National Drugs Strategy for the period 2009-2016. The Strategy provides a co-ordinated and comprehensive response founded on a partnership approach.

 

The Strategy, which is being delivered under the stewardship of my colleague Minister for Health, Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D., adopts a pillar based approach to the problem, involving the implementation of a wide range of measures across the five pillars of drug supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.

 

The involvement of my Department and that of An Garda Síochána under the Strategy is primarily, although not solely, concerned with the drug supply reduction pillar.

With regard to the particular matter raised by the Deputy, I am advised by the Garda authorities that the combating of illegal drug use is an ongoing priority for An Garda Síochána in the Longford area. The problem of drug misuse is being addressed through a range of measures being taken by An Garda Síochána in partnership with other agencies and services locally.

 

A partnership approach is being facilitated by the work of the Midland Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force so as to address the problem of substance misuse in a co-ordinated way across the Midland region.

 

An Garda Síochána community policing personnel and the Juvenile Liaison Officer attached to the Longford District also form part of the Longford Local Drugs Network.

 

I am further advised by the Garda authorities that the involvement of An Garda Síochána in these fora allow for ongoing daily interaction and co-operation between the statutory and non-statutory agencies at local level and that this approach is of assistance in tackling illegal drug activity in the area.

 

Finally, I can assure the Deputy that my Department and its agencies continue to fully support the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy in targeting drug misuse nationwide.

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