Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 144 Crime data [57742/21].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 144 Crime data [57742/21]. (24 Nov 2021)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021...

  1. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Justice the change in the rate of drug offences recorded in the Dublin metropolitan area in the past five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57742/21]


Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice: I am acutely aware of the sustained and significant damage that drug dealing has on communities across the country. Organised criminal activity, including drug dealing, represents a serious threat to community safety.


As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the detection of and response to any criminal activity is an operational function for the Garda Commissioner. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.


The operational review of crime statistics, at a national and regional level, is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner under the Garda Síochána Act 2005. Again, I play no role in these independent functions.


The Deputy may be interested to note that the most recent available crime statistics, published by the CSO on 29 September and covering the 12 months to the end of June 2021, are available on the CSO website www.cso.ie. The recorded crime statistics show crime trends in each Garda region, division and station.


The most recent statistics show increases across most drug offence categories in the Dublin Metropolitan Region over the last five years. For the period 2016 to 2020, increases were recorded for controlled drug offences of 59%, possession of drugs for sale and supply of 65% and possession for personal use of 52%. A decrease of 19% was recorded for the importation of drugs for the same period.


The Deputy may also be interested to note that in the recent CSO release on Recorded Crime Detection 2020, which identifies the percentage of crimes recorded by Gardaí in 2020 that had been deemed ‘detected’ by 2 September 2020, 83.1% of Controlled drug offences in the DMR region were deemed detected.


While the increase of drug offences is a cause for concern, it also reflects the work of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and their success in detecting those involved in drug dealing. I can assure the Deputy that the continued disruption of the supply of all illicit drugs remains a priority for An Garda Síochána and the other state agencies tasked with responsibilities in this regard. A concerted effort has been made over the past year to ensure that the detection and prevention of these types of criminal activity have not been adversely affected by the unprecedented demands placed on policing services by the vital support of public health guidelines. As at 18 November 2021, the Bureau has seized controlled drugs worth €51.84m this year, in addition to €5.1m in cash.


Recent operations in the Dublin area include the seizure of approximately €360,000 of suspected cannabis in the Tallaght area on 11 November 2021 and the seizure of approximately €348,000 of suspected cannabis in the Dublin 2 area on 2 November 2021.

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