Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 270 & 271 - Drugs seizures [29613/17 & 29614/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 270 & 271 - Drugs seizures [29613/17 & 29614/17]. (27 Jun 2017)

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270. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of follow-up searches undertaken further to the recent discovery by persons of substantial quantities of drugs off the west coast; the resources allocated to those searches; the number of packets found following such searches; the number of persons involved in the searches; the agencies involved in the searches; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29613/17]

271. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the resources being provided for the detection of drugs being imported off the west coast; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29614/17]

 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 and 271 together.

 

I wish to advise the Deputy that the allocation of resources is an operational matter for the Garda Síochána. However, I can inform the Deputy that it is through the work of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the dedicated Drug Units operating across the jurisdiction that the Garda Síochána target those involved in the illicit sale and supply of drugs. The specific strategies put in place by An Garda Síochána include the operation of targeted intelligence led initiatives.

 

As the Deputy will be aware on 8 and 10 June, 2017 two similar packages, of similar appearance, were found at Achill, Co. Mayo and Ballyconneely, Co. Galway. Both packages, following analysis, were found to contain Cocaine with an estimated street value of approximately €160,000. Follow-up searches were conducted by Mayo and Galway Divisional search teams with other Garda personnel from Westport and Clifden Garda Districts, supported by the Garda Water Unit. These searches proved negative.

 

A large portion of the Garda Western Region comprises of the exposed Atlantic coastline with Coast Watch Schemes, similar to Neighbourhood Watch Schemes, established in three Garda Divisions in the Region. Divisional Drugs Units, established within the Region, are specifically tasked with enforcing the Misuse of Drugs Acts and related legislation, including the importation and sale/supply of illicit drugs. An Inspector in each Division is designated with responsibility for each Coast Watch Scheme and liaises with resident, community, business and local fishermen to ensure that any suspicious activity is reported, through local Garda personnel and Community Policing Units to the Divisional Drug Units.

 

The Divisional Drug Units liaise closely with the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, the Revenue Commissioners and the Defence Forces (Navy). The Garda Síochána also work in partnership with other Law Enforcement Agencies at home and abroad, including the Revenue Commissioners (Customs Service), the Health Products Regulatory Authority, Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency (UK), Europol, Interpol and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N).

 

More broadly, work is well under way in regards to a comprehensive and integrated new National Drugs Strategy for the period post 2016 and the Garda Síochána remains resolute in its determination to act against those within society who pose a significant threat to the welfare and well-being of our citizens and the communities we serve. The continued disruption of the supply of all illicit drugs remains a priority for all agencies tasked with responsibilities in this regard.

Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:27 June 2017
EndNote:View
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Substance related offence > Drug offence > Illegal drug possession (seizures)
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Law enforcement agency
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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