Garda report: Crime statistics for 2015

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Seizures of heroin, ecstasy, and tranquillisers increased significantly last year, according to the Garda Annual Report 2015.

Greater quantities of high-powered weapons were also confiscated, including assault rifles and sub-machine guns.

A total of 638 illegal firearms were seized, including 61 pistols and revolvers (compared to 54 in 2014), 10 assault rifles (two in 2014) and seven sub-machine guns (three in 2014).

The report says that 114 mid-and-low-ranking drug dealers were arrested in undercover street-purchase operations in 2015 and that 204 people were arrested for serious trafficking.

In counter-terrorism, 30 people were arrested and 20 people charged — 16 for membership of the IRA, four for firearms offences and three in relation to explosives. There were a further 29 seizures of improvised explosive devices.

While the total value of drugs seized fell from €57 million in 2014 to €47m in 2015, there were noticeable increases in certain drugs, including heroin.

The report says there was a massive drop in the amount of herbal cannabis seized, which it says was the result of operations dismantling organised crime gangs dominating the lucrative trade.

A breakdown of the figures shows:

  • 62kg of heroin were seized (street value of €9.3m) — compared with 39kg in 2014.
  • 27kg of ecstasy and related chemicals were seized (street value of €3.5m) — compared with 13kg in 2014.
  • €1.6m worth of hallucinogenic drugs were seized — compared to €139,000 worth in 2014.

It also found that €990,000 worth of benzodiazepines (tranquillisers) were seized, compared to €280,000 worth in 2014. Some €664,000 worth of sleeping tablets were confiscated, compared to just €44,000 worth in 2014.

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