Drug arrests to exceed 1,000 mark in Laois/Offaly Garda Division

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ARRESTS for drug related offences over a six year period in the Laois/Offaly Garda Division are poised to surpass the one thousand mark.

Thirty-eight arrests were made during the first quarter of 2012 by An Garda Síochána in relation to offences under Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

And if this trend continues for the remainder of the year and arrests reach an estimated total of 152 (4 quarters x 38 arrests), then it will bring the grand total of arrests in Laois/Offaly since 2007 up to 1,061.

This figure is significantly higher than in the neighbouring Garda Divisions of Westmeath 627 (32 arrests 1st quarter 2012), Kilkenny/Carlow 776 (37 1st qt ‘12) and Kildare 901 (23 1st qt ‘12).

A total of 909 arrests were made in Laois/Offaly between 2007 and 2011 inclusive, with the highest number – 231 - being made during 2008.

There were 197, 164, 166 and 151 arrests made in 2011, ‘10, ‘09 and ‘07, respectively. 
Over the same five-year period (‘07 – ‘11), there were 499, 628 and 809 arrests made in Westmeath, Kilkenny/Carlow and Kildare, respectively.

Between ‘07 and ‘11 in the Laois/Offaly Garda Division there were 684 recorded incidents in relation to offences under Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, with twenty-seven further incidents being recorded from January 1 to March 31 of this year.

This too is higher than in the divisions of Westmeath 335 (16 1st qt ‘12), Kilkenny/Carlow 491 (24 1st qt ‘12) and Kildare 562 (20 1st qt ‘12).

Meanwhile, in response to a Dáil question tabled by Sinn Féin’s Deputy Brian Stanley, Minister of the State at the Department of Health Róisín Shortall revealed that between January 2011 and June 2012, Laois County Council received grant aid of €2,500 for community based drugs projects supported by Local & Regional Drugs Tasks Forces, while Offaly County Council received €7,152 during the same period.




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