Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 66 – Drug dealing [35981/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 66 – Drug dealing [35981/22]. (05 Jul 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

66. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Justice if she will provide an update on the status of the work of her Department in tackling drug-related intimidation and reporting; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35981/22]

Written answers (Question to Justice), Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice: The Government is acutely aware of the substantial and ongoing 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, the Department of Health leads on Government policy in the area of drugs, and this policy is guided by the national drugs and alcohol strategy, 'Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery - a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025'. This strategy represents a whole-of-government response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland.

Drug-related intimidation is a very serious issue and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) previously worked with the National Family Support Network to develop ‘the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme’ to respond to the needs of drug users and family members experiencing drug-related intimidation, which met the obligations of An Garda Síochána under action 4.1.42 of the national drugs and alcohol strategy. 

I am informed by Garda authorities that the Commissioner tasked an Inspector in every Garda Division to respond to the issue of drug related intimidation. There are currently thirty nominated Garda Inspectors appointed to act as liaison officers for the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme, covering each Garda Division.

Additionally, the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme annual conferences, which are coordinated via the National Drug Strategy Project Office at the GNDOCB, play a very important role in creating awareness of the programme among Garda members and the general public via the nominated Inspectors and Local / Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force representatives in attendance. The next conference is scheduled to take place during August 2022.

People seeking assistance may contact their local Inspector confidentially who will provide practical personal security and safety information and advice in relation to particular threats or instances of intimidation. Information in relation to the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme and a list of the nominated Inspectors countrywide is available on the Garda Website, www.garda.ie. Furthermore, people may seek assistance or report a crime by contacting the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111 or Crimestoppers on 1800 250025.

As the Deputy may be aware, in November 2021, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD, launched A Data Driven Intervention Model to Respond Effectively to Drug Related Intimidation and Violence in Communities in Ireland, which is a report and model developed under the Drug Related Intimidation & Violence (DRIVE) project. The DRIVE Project is a multi-agency national initiative to build the capacity of communities to respond more effectively to drug related intimidation and violence with an outline of systems and structures that could be replicated in any community.

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