Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (598)

Richard O'Donoghue

Question:

598. Deputy Richard O'Donoghue asked the Minister for Justice the number of persons arrested and charged with possession of drugs for sale or supply within Limerick Garda division in 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8141/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am assured by the Garda authorities that the occurrence and prevalence of crime and anti-social behaviour, including drug dealing, is constantly monitored at national and local level by Garda management to ensure that appropriate policing responses are designed and delivered as appropriate.

The below tables, furnished to me by An Garda Síochána, contain the number of incidents reported to An Garda Síochána, for the period in question, in the Limerick Division which have been recorded as ‘Possession of Drugs for Sale or Supply’.

Reported ‘Possession of Drugs for Sale or Supply’ incidents for the years 2020 & 2021 YTD – Limerick Division.

Incidents Reported

2020

2021 YTD

Possession of Drugs for Sale or Supply

227

21

Reported ‘Possession of Drugs for Sale or Supply’ incidents for the years 2020 to present with one or more associated charge or summons to date – Limerick Division.

Charge/Summons

2020 - Present

Possession of Drugs for Sale or Supply

106

I am informed that these figures were based on collated data from the PULSE system as of 11 February 2021.

The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) has lead responsibility in tackling all forms of drug trafficking and the supply of illicit drugs in Ireland and is supported by Divisional Drugs Units, which tackle drug related crime on a local basis throughout the country. I am further informed that Divisional Drug Units are now established in every Garda Division.

Since its establishment in March 2016, GNDOCB has been responsible for the seizure of a total of 133 firearms, 209 million worth of illicit drugs, 5,516 rounds of ammunition and €21.7 million in cash. In 2020 alone, GNDOCB has seized 36.7 million worth of illicit drugs, 23 firearms, 2,131 rounds of ammunition, €8 million in cash and have made 228 arrests.

An Garda Síochána also remains committed to tackling the supply of drugs by supporting local communities through various preventative and detection initiatives and engagement with local and regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces; the Garda Youth Diversion Programme and Projects; the Garda Schools Programme; the Joint Policing Committees and Community Policing Fora.

The Deputy will also be aware, the Department is developing a community safety policy, which is aimed at ensuring communities are safe and feel safe, through the establishment of inter-agency structures called Local Community Safety Partnerships. These proposals are contained in the Policing and Community Safety Bill, which is being worked on at present in my Department and the proposed approach will be rolled out and tested in three pilot locations this year.