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Home > 285. Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans for drug law reform and to increase drug enforcement during the lifetime of the 29th Dáil. [2824/05]

[Oireachtas] 285. Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans for drug law reform and to increase drug enforcement during the lifetime of the 29th Dáil. [2824/05]. (01 Feb 2005)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2005/02/01/00231...


Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): The measures undertaken by the Garda Síochána to address drug trafficking and distribution centre around the issues of strategy, structures and resources. At a strategic level, the Garda Síochána is committed to rigorous enforcement of the laws on drug misuse. Each division is required to produce a divisional drug policing plan which contributes to the overall goals of the national plan, taking into account local circumstances. Responsibility for co-ordinating the drugs strategy within the policing plan is vested in the assistant commissioner, national support services, who overseas the implementation of the organisation’s drug strategy. In the context of resourcing the Garda Síochána’s drug strategy, it is worth noting that it is the responsibility of each member of the Garda Síochána to enforce the laws relating to drug usage. In addition to the general resources available to address drug trafficking, the establishment of specialist Garda units, such as the Garda national drug unit, the national bureau of criminal investigation, the Criminal Assets Bureau and the Garda bureau of fraud investigation, operating under the assistant commissioner in charge of national support services has enabled the Garda Síochána to tackle serious crime effectively. These specialist units work very closely with gardaí operating at district and divisional level. At local level, divisional and district drug units have been established with the specific remit of targeting individuals engaged in the sale and distribution of drugs to local communities. These units are supported by local resources as well as national units when required. With regard to legislative proposals, I am considering bringing forward a number of relevant amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill, which is before the Houses. These include proposals to strengthen the provisions on the imposition of the ten-year mandatory minimum sentence for drug trafficking and the provision of new offences relating to the supply of drugs to prisoners.

 Vol. 596 No. 3
Tuesday, 1 February 2005

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