I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 53 together.
My Department and the bodies under its aegis co-operate with colleagues in Northern Ireland on an ongoing basis in relation to various aspects of the National Drugs Strategy.
Prominent among the more formal links is the work of the British-Irish Council Sectoral Group on the Misuse of Drugs. As the Deputy is aware, the British Irish Council (BIC) is a forum for the exchange of information and best practice and arose from the Good Friday Agreement. Members of the BIC include the British and Irish Governments, the devolved institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. Ireland is the lead administration in relation to the Misuse of Drugs sector. The Sectoral Group, chaired by a representative of my Department, meets four to five times each year, with administrations hosting meetings on a rotational basis. The last meeting of the Group took place on 3 November in Belfast on the subject of cocaine. A BIC Ministerial Meeting, which I will chair, will take place on this issue in Belfast on 7 December next.
The National Advisory Committee on Drugs and the Drug and Alcohol Information and Research Unit (Northern Ireland) worked together to commission the first Drugs Prevalence Survey in 2002/2003, the purpose of which was to establish the population prevalence of drug use on the island of Ireland. This study surveyed over 8,000 people in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Work on the second joint Drug Prevalence Survey has begun and it is expected that a first report of national prevalence figures and trends will be available in the latter part of 2007.
On a broader level, there is ongoing co-operation between various agencies involved in the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy. For example, An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) co-operate on an ongoing basis in tackling the problem of drug trafficking across both jurisdictions, which resulted in searches, arrests and seizures of drugs with an estimated street value of €1.75m in 2005.
In addition, the fourth cross-border seminar on organised crime took place in Limavaddy, Co. Derry, on 9 and 10 October 2006. The purpose of the seminar, which was organised by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Office, was to enhance co-operation between North and South in tackling cross-border criminality.
Delegates included representatives from various units within An Garda Síochána, the PSNI, the UK's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Customs Branch of the Revenue Commissioners, the Northern Ireland Office, and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.