441. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to drug pushers selling drugs in the Clonliffe area harassing persons living in the area; the actions being taken to address these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18487/19] View answer
I have asked for a report from An Garda Síochána in relation to the specific issue raised by the Deputy and I will be in contact directly when the report is received.
I would also remind the Deputy that An Garda Síochána have a number of intelligence led operations to tackle drugs and other criminal activity in our communities. Responses include the deployment of specialist Garda Units providing a targeted response to specific categories of crime, including the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau where necessary. To support this activity the Government has provided An Garda Síochána with an unprecedented level of resources in recent years including an additional €100 million in 2019 bringing total budget to almost €1.8 billion. This substantial investment is allowing the accelerated recruitment programme to continue in tandem with the deployment of new and leading edge technology to support our front line Gardaí in carrying out their work of delivering a visible, effective and responsive police service to communities including the Clonliffe area and across all Garda Divisions in 2019.
The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
I refer to Parliamentary Question No. 441 and to my reply of 8 May 2019.
I am aware of the impact of drugs and the devastating effect of drug-related intimidation and harassment by individuals and gangs within local communities throughout the country, including in the Clonliffe area.
An Garda Síochána works closely with the communities it serves to address drug related issues through both overt patrolling by uniformed personnel and intelligence led operations targeting known criminals.
The Clonliffe area is located within North Central Division of the Garda Síochána’s Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR). The Divisional Drug Unit with responsibility for tackling drug related issues within the North Central Division is located at Store Street Garda station. For obvious operational reasons the activities of the Divisional Drug Unit cannot be revealed however, the unit is relentless in their pursuit of those involved in illicit drugs.
I can inform you that the Divisional Drug Unit comprises of 1 Inspector, 2 Sergeants and 18 Gardaí who all have responsibility to target and prosecute those involved in illicit drugs. Under the local Garda management there are also four Community Policing Sectors with “Small Area Policing” sub sectors. Clonliffe is situated within Sector Two and has 1 Inspector, 1 Sergeant and 7 Gardaí assigned to it.
In response to anti-social behaviour and other offences, there is a designated Community Garda who has exclusive responsibility for the Clonliffe area. The Community Policing Unit has 2 marked patrol cars and seven 7 pedal cycles. Gardaí are predominantly deployed on high visibility foot or pedal cycle patrols.
The Divisional Community Policing Office is a further point of contact with members of the community and any communication from the community is forwarded to the relevant Community Garda in the Clonliffe area for their personal attention and to ensure issues raised are appropriately addressed.
The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau continues to target organised crime groups nationally including those involved in drug related crime, burglary and related offences. The Bureau provides support to the Gardaí operating at local level, including within the DMR North Central Division within which the Clonliffe area is situated.
Local Gardaí are also supported by other national units, such as the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, the Criminal Assets Bureau, the Special Detective Unit the Armed Response and Emergency Response Units, the Air Support Unit (ASU) and the Regional DMR Roads Policing Unit.