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Garda annual report shows almost €700m worth of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and other drugs seized last year

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Gardaí removed over 500 children from their parents or guardians last year
Gardaí removed over 500 children from their parents or guardians last year

The Garda Síochána annual report for 2014, published today, also shows that almost €700m worth of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and other drugs were seized last year.

Gardaí also targeted 621 organised crime gangs last year and seized €698m worth of illegal drugs, more than half in a joint operation with the Naval and Customs Services off the coast of Cork last September when €350m of cocaine was recovered.

Sixty people were arrested due to drug trafficking offences, with 43 significant seizures made.

Gardaí removed over 500 children from their parents or guardians last year because they believed there was an immediate danger to them.

The report also shows an increase in the number of deaths on the road.

Figures released also show a rise in the amount of road deaths, with 195 people dying last year, up from 190 in 2013. There were also 226,731 fixed charge notices for speeding.

There were more than 9,000 missing person cases investigated last year by gardaí, according to the force's latest annual report.

In a foreword to the report, Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said that 2014 was a challenging year for An Garda Síochána but that they used these challenges to transform the services.

“The challenges we faced gave us an opportunity to evaluate numerous aspects of how we carry out our work and we began putting in place an extensive transformation programme,” she said.

There were also over 4,000 people arrested under Operation Fiacla, the garda operation to combat burglary, with almost 2,400 of them charged.

The report also shows a number of successes for the Garda Dog Unit, with Garda dog “Ben” leading to €5,000 of cocaine being seized, and Garda dog “Dfor” helping to uncover the bodies of two missing men in Meath.

The figure was smaller for white-collar crime, with a total of 33 commercial fraud investigations conducted and 46 people targeted with tax assessments having deemed to have gained financially from crime.

While the force says it did not achieve its aims to reduce violent and property crime, it did succeed in the areas of national security and identifying extremist and terrorist groups.