Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Question 21– Crime prevention [43901/23].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Question 21– Crime prevention [43901/23]. (11 Oct 2023)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2023...

  1. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice the efforts being made to counteract drug trafficking and dealing in our communities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43901/23]


Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice: At the outset I would like to assure the Deputy that tackling organised criminal activity is a priority for An Garda Síochána and the government.


The unprecedented allocation of over €2 billion to An Garda Síochána in 2023 and 2024, up 23 per cent since 2020, demonstrates the Government's commitment to ensuring the organisation has provision for the equipment, technology, facilities, fleet and personnel it needs to carry out vital policing work.


Tackling drug dealing and associated criminal activity, including by organised crime groups and by members of the public who, through their drug-taking fuel this illegal and very harmful trade, is a top priority for An Garda Síochána and the Government.


I will continue to provide An Garda Síochána with the resources it needs to ensure communities around Ireland are safe and feel safe.


The record budgetary resources allocated to An Garda Síochána in recent years have enabled the Garda Commissioner to assign extra resources to the specialist units involved in tackling organised crime, including the Armed Support Unit, GNDOCB, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).


The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau leads in tackling all forms of drug trafficking and the supply of illicit drugs in Ireland. Collaboration at an inter-agency and international level remain key in tackling this issue. Given the global nature of the drugs trade, international law enforcement co-operation remains a key element in the overall response.


An Garda Síochána has strong and strategic partnerships in place at international level targeting drug trafficking, including working closely with relevant law enforcement agencies such as INTERPOL and Europol and participating in the Maritime Analysis Operations Centre for Narcotics (MAOC-N) based in Lisbon.


Last year, the Government approved the expansion of the Garda Liaison Officer Network, following a request from the Garda Commissioner. The deployment of Garda Liaison Officers has proven to be an effective and practical form of interagency cooperation between police services and has supported the exchange of information and the coordination of operations across borders. This network continues to play a crucial role in tackling transnational criminal activity.


At a local level, Operation Tara, by tackling street-level dealing, focuses on disrupting and dismantling the drug trafficking networks that impact on our communities and prosecuting those involved at every level.


The Garda Commissioner has also tasked an Inspector in every Garda Division to respond to the issue of drug-related intimidation. There are currently 30 nominated Garda Inspectors appointed to act as liaison officers for the Drug-Related Intimidation Reporting Programme, covering each Garda Division.


Government policy in the area of drugs, which is led by the Department of Health, is focused on reducing the harms for individuals, families and communities and promoting rehabilitation and recovery.


Repository Staff Only: item control page