Written Answers. - Dublin 7 Drugs Problem.

Tony Gregory

Question:

498 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Justice if she will request the Garda to give special attention to an open space (details supplied) in Dublin 7 where youths gather at night-time to abuse and distribute drugs and are a cause of serious concern to local residents. [16554/96]

I am informed by the Garda Síochána that, on foot of complaints received, they have been giving special attention to this area by means of foot and mobile patrols. No arrests have been made to date but the area will continue under surveillance.

I should say that there seems to be a general perception that this kind of activity is widespread throughout the city and that the Garda are not doing anything about it. I am satisfied from information I have received from the Garda authorities that this perception is misplaced. The Garda are actively addressing the problem, but of necessity, the response is often covert in nature and, therefore, not obvious to the public. I can nevertheless, appreciate the general concerns which are being continually expressed about this activity and I intend to keep the matter under review in my regular contracts with the Commissioner.

The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994, strengthens the capacity of the Garda to deal with situations where public drinking or intoxication leads to disorderly behaviour. Provisional figures for 1995 show that proceedings were instituted in respect of 10,209 offences under that Act.