Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 327 & 350 – Drugs crime [42723/15 & 42917/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 327 & 350 – Drugs crime [42723/15 & 42917/15]. (01 Dec 2015)

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327. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she is aware of a new strain of the drug cannabis that makes persons more violent; the current strategies used to combat drug-related crimes and violence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42723/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I understand the Deputy's question to relate in part to the ongoing emergence of new synthetic cannabinoid type substances as witnessed here and abroad.


Undoubtedly the dynamic world market in new synthetic cannabinoid type substances, the effects of the use of which are still often unknown, presents key challenges for the international and national control mechanisms.


In this regard, it is the Department of Health which examines on an ongoing basis the need to bring emerging substances under the drug control framework provided by way of the Misuse of Drugs legislation. As my colleague Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D. has indicated work is under way in the Department of Health on the preparation of a Bill the purpose of which is to strengthen the Misuse of Drugs Act so as to clarify the provisions under which Ministerial orders and regulations are made, and which will facilitate the further controlling of new psychoactive substances when deemed necessary. More generally, the Deputy will be aware that the Government's overall response to the problem of drug misuse is set out in the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 which adopts a comprehensive and pillar based approach to the problem of drug misuse across the five pillars of drug supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research. The Strategy is being led out under the stewardship of my colleague Minister of State Ó Ríordáin T.D.


In targeting the problems of drug related crime and associated violence, An Garda Síochána is continuing to target individuals and organisations involved in the trafficking and distribution of psychoactive substances at all levels utilising the Misuse of Drugs legislation, the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010 and the full range of criminal justice legislation underpinning the response of An Garda Síochána to serious crime, where applicable.


I can also advise the Deputy that under the National Drugs Strategy, An Garda Síochána have in partnership with the national community based Family Support Network organisation introduced a national reporting framework to strengthen the response in dealing with issues of drug related intimidation and violence experienced in our local communities.



350. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which drug trafficking continues; if specific provisions can be made to make a serious impact on this life-destroying activity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42917/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Drug trafficking has long been recognised as one of the most profitable of criminal activities. Targeting drug trafficking and supply has therefore remained a priority for law enforcement authorities worldwide.


The Policing Plan of An Garda Síochána sets out the continued commitment of An Garda Síochána to pro-actively target groups and individuals engaged in criminal activity. In this regard multi-disciplinary approaches are utilised to ensure that those involved are effectively targeted including through the use of the Proceeds of Crime legislation, money laundering legislation and the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau.


I am informed by the Garda authorities that, in line with the Policing Plan, the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau continues to lead out the policing strategy for tackling drugs by demand reduction and supply reduction strategies. In this regard the Bureau continues its policy of working with Divisional Drug Units nationwide in tackling supply reduction at local level.


This integrated approach adopts best practice in implementing a co-ordinated use of Garda resources and in utilising available criminal law to its fullest extent in tackling all forms of organised crime, including drug trafficking.


An Garda Siochána also has in place a number of strategic partnerships both nationally and internationally including with the Irish Customs Service, the Health Products Regulatory Authority, the Irish Naval Service, Europol, Interpol and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre Narcotics based in Lisbon.

An Garda Síochána continues to record significant successes in intercepting substantial quantities of controlled drugs and in bringing those involved before the Courts.


More broadly, the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 seeks to address the harm caused to individuals and society by drug misuse by tackling the problem in a comprehensive and integrated way by implementing a pillar based approach which incorporates a wide range of drug supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research measures.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention, Policy
1 December 2015

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