Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answers 317 & 62 - Departmental projects & Crime prevention [Intimidation] [51618/22 & 52410/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answers 317 & 62 - Departmental projects & Crime prevention [Intimidation] [51618/22 & 52410/22]. (20 Oct 2022)

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

317. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on any progress made on the DRIVE project to build the capacity of communities to respond more effectively to drug-related intimidation and violence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51618/22]

Stephen Donnelly Minister for Health: One of the strategic priorities under the national drugs strategy for 2021-2025 is to address the social determinants of and consequences of drug use in disadvantaged communities.  This priority recognises the additional challenges arising from drug use in communities. It will tackle the criminality and anti-social behaviour associated with the drugs trade that impose a heavy burden on communities. These issues require action across government to promote community development and community safety

Drug related intimidation and violence is a serious and insidious problem that affects individuals, families, and communities, throughout the country. It is not acceptable that the lives of families and communities are blighted by the violence and intimidation associated with criminal groups. Addressing drug-related intimidation and violence is a central concern in strengthening resilience in communities, supporting participation of individuals families and communities, and developing evidence informed policies.

The Drive (Drug-related intimidation and violence engagement) initiative is a data driven interagency response to tackle drug related intimidation and violence in communities most impacted. It is led by the drug and alcohol task forces, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, the Probation Service, the HSE, family support services and civil society organisations. The initiative is funded by the Department of Health for a three-year period.

I launched the report on the initiative in November 2021. This is available at DRIVE: Drug Related Intimidation and Violence Engagement. An interagency response in Ireland - Drug and Alcohol Information and Support in Ireland - Drugs.ie. The report outlines the Drive model accompanied by a detailed implementation plan. As it develops, Drive will provide a toolkit for communities to enhance their capacity to address drug related intimidation. This model will complement the work of the Department of Justice on community policing and safety matters. It also builds the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme developed by An Garda Siochana and family support services to support affected families.

An information session on the Drive initiative was held on 17th October. Further information on the initiative can be got by emailing drive@ndublinrdtf.ie .

To support the rollout of the Drive initiative, I have allocated funding of €250,000 in Budget 2023. This funding will support its work programme including the development of a suite of training and capacity building resources, a national Drive liaison network, a shared learning network and referral pathways to support for victims, awareness raising, community initiatives and targeted interagency programmes, and a national data collection system.


Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 62 - Crime prevention [52410/22] (20 October 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022-10-20/62/

  1. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Justice if she will provide an update on the work of her Department in tackling drug-related intimidation and reporting. [52410/22]

Helen McEntee Minister for Justice: The Government is acutely aware of the substantial and ongoing damage that drug dealing and drug-related intimidation has on communities across the country. Organised criminal activity, including drug dealing, represents a serious threat to community safety.

An Garda Síochána continues to target those involved in the sale and supply of illegal drugs including through Operation Tara which has a strong focus on tackling street-level dealing throughout rural and urban Ireland.

The focus of this Operation is to disrupt, dismantle and prosecute drug trafficking networks at all levels - international, national and local - involved in the importation, distribution, cultivation, production, local street level dealing and sale and supply of controlled drugs.

Recent successes of Operation Tara include the seizure of €465,000 worth of cannabis in Ballygar, Co. Galway on 7 September and the seizure of €360,000 worth of cannabis in Pollerton, Co. Carlow on 2 October.

I am informed by the 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.

Information in relation to the Drug-Related Intimidation Reporting Programme and a list of the nominated Inspectors countrywide is available on the Garda Website. This programme has been developed to respond to the needs of drug users and family members experiencing drug related intimidation. In dealing with any complaint of drug-related intimidation or advice sought in relation to this issue, An Garda Síochána will do so with the utmost safety in order to afford the person or family subject to the threat of the best level of security, advice and support which can be offered. 

An annual conference on the Drug-Related Intimidation Reporting Programme, coordinated by the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, took place in August 2022 and was attended by nominated Inspectors, local and Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force representatives. In addition, An Garda Síochána presented on the subject of Drug Related Intimidation to the Annual Conference of the Joint Policing Committees organised by the Policing Authority in September 2022.

An Garda Síochána are committed to tackling the supply of drugs at all levels and they continue to work with joint policing committees, both at regional and city level. Community policing forums are based locally in individual Garda districts and sub-districts and Joint Policing Committees address the issue of drugs and drug-related intimidation from the lower level to the most serious level. The North Inner City Dublin Local Community Safety Partnership pilot is also exploring utilising a drug related intimidation programme as part of its work.

As the Deputy may be aware, the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D., launched the Drug Related Intimidation and Violence Engagement (DRIVE) Report in November 2021. DRIVE is a multi-agency response to Drug Related Intimidation, recognising the additional challenges arising from drug-related intimidation in disadvantaged communities.

Membership of the DRIVE Oversight Committee is comprised of representatives from An Garda Síochána, Regional and Local Drug & Alcohol Task Forces, HSE Social Inclusion, Probation Service, family support and the Community & the Voluntary sector.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Harm reduction, Crime prevention
20 October 2022

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