Justice | Deployment of An Garda Síochána to deal with drugs and organise crime and ensure adequate policing in deficient areas among population increases
To ask the Minister for Justice the extent to which the strength and deployment of An Garda Síochána continues to be sufficient to deal with drugs and organised crime in line with population increases, and the need to ensure adequate policing in areas currently appearing to have a deficiency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The continued disruption of the supply of all illicit drugs remains a priority for An Garda Síochána, the other State agencies tasked with responsibilities in this regard, and the Government.
As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management of Garda resources, including the assignment of Garda members to a given area or specialised unit.
Similarly, the Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including Garda operations aimed at preventing and countering organised criminal activity, and the enforcement of legislation pertaining to illegal drugs. As Minister, I have no direct role in these operational, policing matters.
I am assured that the Commissioner keeps the use of these resources under continual review to ensure their best use. Among the factors considered are population figures, crime trends and Garda operations in a given area.
The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) continues to have significant success in disrupting drug trafficking and the supply of illicit drugs by organised crime groups. GNDOCB’s work is supported by Divisional Drugs Units nationwide, and by all Gardaí working in local communities. GNDOCB also works in cooperation with international law enforcement partners.
More broadly, Gardaí continue to work closely with local authorities, the HSE, NGOs, community groups and other State agencies to tackle the problems of drug addiction and abuse.
The Government is committed to building stronger and safer communities across the country. Since 2015, the government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána by approximately €672m, or 46%, to support Gardaí in its vital work to combat criminal activity.
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