Written Answers. - Drug Seizures.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

308 Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress to date on the Government's commitments to the supply reduction of the drugs, heroin and cocaine, as outlined in the programme for Government, May 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [217836/03]

A key performance indicator in the National Drugs Strategy 2001-2008 is to increase the volume of opiates and all other drugs seized by 25% by end of 2004 and by 50% by end of 2008, using 2000 seizures as a base. This indicator reflects a major supply reduction objective of the strategy which is to reduce significantly the volume of illicit drugs available in Ireland, to arrest the dynamic of the existing markets and to curtail new markets as they are identified.

The Garda Síochána and the Customs and Excise service are achieving considerable success in this objective and they are to be congratulated for their continued efforts. The street value of all drugs seized since 2000 has increased each year. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the street value of drugs seized in 2002 was approximately €49 million compared to €45 million in 2001. The 2001 figure was an increase on 2000 when the estimated value of drugs seized by the Garda Síochána was approximately €20 million. Provisional figures for 2003 to date, indicate that the street value of significant drug seizures is over €67 million.
In regard to heroin and cocaine, the number of offences and the quantities seized in 2000, 2001 and 2002 is set out in this table:
Drug Seizures

Year

Heroin

Cocaine

2000

23,942 g

18,041 g

2001

29,527 g

5,325 g

2002*

12,758 g

29,535 g

Drug Offences

Year

Heroin

Cocaine

2000

730

180

2001

908

297

2002*

796

475

* Provisional