Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (123)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

123. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the increase in drug related crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3475/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, illicit drugs are a feature of many different forms of crime, ranging from persons under the influence of drugs committing burglaries, or involved in assaults or public order offences, to the trafficking of drugs by organised crime gangs.

The illicit drug market and the associated harm it causes to people is a matter of concern to me and to communities nationwide. I can assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána remains resolute in its determination to act against those within society who pose a significant threat to the welfare and well-being of our citizens and the communities they serve. All Gardaí have a responsibility in the prevention and detection of criminal activity, whether it be in the area of drug offences crime or otherwise.  A core focus of the work carried out by An Garda Síochána is aimed at tackling drugs and organised crime. 

In that regard, I would like to highlight significant drug seizures made by An Garda Síochána recently in Waterford, Dublin and Louth with a combined estimated value in the region of €1.8 million. These seizures, which also led to arrests being made, were the result of meticulous, intelligence-led planning and execution by key branches of An Garda Síochána in the fight against drugs and organised crime.

The Government has allocated very significant resources to policing in recent years, and this will continue; in particular, through the accelerated programme of Garda recruitment. This will undoubtedly enhance policing services for all communities across the country. I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that as a result of these additional resources, he has been able to assign additional personnel to the Specialist Bureaus that come within the ambit of Special Crime Operations, including the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.  I would like to re-affirm that the Government remains committed to supporting An Garda Síochána to make communities safer.