Written Answers. - Garda Investigations.

Tony Gregory

Ceist:

851 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will request a report from the Garda authorities detailing the extent of the cocaine problem in an area of Dublin 7 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1729/03]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that from 1 January 2002 to date 13 people have been arrested and charged with cocaine supply offences in the Dublin 7 area. The total value of cocaine seized in the area is approximately €135,000. Garda from the divisional drugs unit are aware that cocaine use has increased across the north inner city and in this regard they continue to monitor the area and give it appropriate attention through specific targeting and patrolling. The area is regularly patrolled by uniform and plain clothes Garda units augmented by divisional task force, drugs and traffic units where necessary.

In addition, the Garda Síochána policing plan 2003 contains a commitment to conduct research in 2003 on the level of cocaine use in Ireland. The Garda research unit will conduct the research in consultation with the Garda national drugs unit and will bring forward policing recommendations accordingly. This commitment is in line with the objectives and key performance indicators in the national drugs strategy 2001-2008.