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Question

116. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Justice the resources and supports by Garda division in County Louth and nationally dedicated to combating drug crime; the percentage of the spend against the total policing spend in these areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51721/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the distribution and management of Garda resources between the various Garda Divisions and the filling of any vacancies. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters, but I am assured that the Garda authorities keep this distribution under constant review, to ensure the optimum use of available Garda members.
The table attached to this answer, which was furnished to me by the Garda authorities, gives the breakdown of the number of Garda members attached to the drugs units in each Garda Division nationwide as of 30 September 2021, the most recent date for which figures are available. I can further advise the Deputy that as of that date, there were 14 full time Garda members assigned to drugs units in the Louth Division.
An Garda Síochána continue to disrupt the sale and supply of controlled drugs in communities across the State. Tackling serious crime is a key priority for the Government and I very much welcome the exceptional work which has been undertaken by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) so far this year. This vital work is having significant success in disrupting drug trafficking and the supply of illicit drugs by organised crime groups.
From its establishment in March 2016 to the end of 2020, GNDOCB has been responsible for the seizure of in excess of 133 firearms, €209 million worth of illicit drugs, 5,500 rounds of ammunition and €21.7 million in cash. In 2020 alone, GNDOCB seized €36.7 million worth of illicit drugs, 23 firearms, 2,131 rounds of ammunition, €8 million in cash and made 228 arrests.
The budget provided by Government to the Garda Commissioner continues to increase to unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.952 billion for 2021.  Budget 2022 provides over €2 billion in funding. This significant investment by the government has allowed for sustained and ongoing investment into An Garda Síochána and into recruitment of new Gardaí, including in Louth.   
As the Deputy will appreciate, the allocation of the Garda budget between the different Garda units in each Division and nationally is strictly a matter for the Commissioner and his management team. The Commissioner is the accounting officer for An Garda Síochána under the law. Within each Garda Division, local Garda management determine the allocation of available resources, in consultation with senior management and based on current operational requirements. As Minister, I have no role in such decisions or allocations. I am advised by the Garda authorities that it is not possible to break down the percentage spend in the manner requested by the Deputy.
https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debateRecord/dail/2021-10-21/supportingDoc/2021-10-21_pq116-21-10_en.xlsx ">Personnel