Written Answers. - Garda Operations.

Liam Aylward

Question:

16 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Justice the current status of Garda operation Dóchas; the number of gardaí deployed in the operation to date; the cost of the operation; and whether any quantifiable success has been achieved from the operation to date. [9101/97]

Ivor Callely

Question:

45 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Justice the number and actual locations in the Dublin metropolitan area where drug dealing and other such drug-related activities have been reported to the Garda authorities; the progress, if any, of the Garda authorities in successfully intervening in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9141/97]

Ivor Callely

Question:

129 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Justice the estimated percentage of Garda time in the Dublin metropolitan area which is occupied with drug and drug-related matters; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9296/97]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16, 45 and 129 together.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the position in relation to operation Dóchas is as follows: In the Dublin metropolitan area there are a total of 536 gardaí employed on operation Dóchas which commenced on 7 October 1996. This is a garda anti-drugs initiative and incorporates dedicated gardaí being employed in specific identified areas, concentrating on drug related activities. In addition there is a drug unit in each Garda district, under the control of the local detective inspector, who decides on the manner and nature of deployment.
The following results have been achieved to date:

Number of premises searched

1,639

Number of “on street” searches

27,460

Number of drug searches

7,795

Number of vehicle checkpoints

8,945

Number of arrests

5,787

Number of people charged in relation to Operation Dóchas

5,507

Number of summonses applied for

6,242

Total street value of seizures

£2,612,064

This initiative was reviewed in January 1997 by the Garda authorities and is considered effective in the context of the large number of successful searches carried out and the consequent number of seizures, arrests and prosecutions since its inception. Based on its effectiveness, from October 1996 to January 1997, a decision has been taken that operation Dóchas will continue for the foreseeable future in its present format.
I understand from the Garda authorities that the gardaí receive information on a daily basis, from a wide variety of sources, in respect of alleged drug dealing and other related activities at many locations across the city. How this information is dealt with depends on the circumstances of each particular case. It is important to note that all members of An Garda Síochána who are on duty, in uniform or plain clothes, deliver the full policing service to the community to which they are allocated. Costs associated with providing this service to the DMA cannot, therefore, be attributed to any particular incident, type of incident or operation. Similarly, the time spent solely on drug related matters is not specifically monitored and is difficult to quantify.