THE ANNUAL GARDA report for 2011 has revealed that of more half a million breath tests carried out at checkpoints 0.2 per cent of drivers – 492 in total – either tested positive for alcohol or refused to give samples.
Over 70,000 checkpoints were set up around the country in 2011 – up from 57,000 in 2010.
The report also reveals that €30 million worth of drugs was seized last year, and 259 gang members were arrested.
A total of 572 ‘grow houses’ were located resulting in the seizure of 26,531 cannabis plants with a value of €10.5 million. Gardaí also say that a total of 67 significant seizures were made which either disrupted or dismantled organised gangs including:
- 20 April 2011: €2.4 million worth of cannabis resin and €600,000 worth of herbal cannabis found at the Malahide Road industrial estate
- 28 June 2011: €2.4 million worth of cannabis resin found at Rathcoole
- 13 October 2011: €5.07 million euro worth of cocaine at Fermoy in Cork
The Gardai Dog Unit was also instrumental in recovering hundreds of thousands of euro worth of drugs.
CSO figures released last week indicated that controlled drug offences are down this year compared to the same time last year. The figures also identified that the number of murders, assaults and public order continues to fall.
The number of formal notifications made to the HSE by Gardaí in relations to crimes against children was 9,096 in 2011.
The Criminal Assets Bureau, which targets the proceeds of criminal activity, targeted 35 individuals and collected €4 million and using its social welfare powers recovered around €450,000 and made savings of over half a million.
More than 2,500 immigrants were refused entry to Ireland while 469 people were the subject of a removal, transit or deportation order. Sixty-five of those had acquired criminal convictions while living in Ireland.
Gardaí say that off the counterfeit goods seized in 2011 the most common were DVDs, CDs, cigarettes and branded clothing and sportswear, with seizures commonly detected at markets. However, with an increase in counterfeit goods being sold by established traders and shops, Gardaí say they will be focusing on cracking down on these activities.
On the roads
In 2011 there were 171 fatal collisions on Ireland’s roads and 186 people died. There were 465 serious injuries arising out of 335 serious injury collisions. The number of fatal collisions has decreased year-on-year since 2005.
Overall speed detections increased in 2011 by more than 66 per cent while 10,872 drink driving incidents were recorded. That’s a decrease of 17 per cent on 2010.
At the end of last year there were 13,894 Garda members, 875 Garda Reserves and 2,074 civilian staff. Out of 540 who applied for the Garda Reserves 427 passed written and interview tests.
1,254 have joined the Garda Reserves to date, and out of 197 who have resigned 40 are now in full time Garda service.