Minister Shortall launches the Dial to Stop Drug Dealing Partnership with Crimestoppers

22 May 2012

Róisín Shortall, T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, today (Tuesday 22nd May 2012) launched the 2012 Dial to Stop Drug Dealing campaign, in association with Crimestoppers in Donore Youth and Community Centre, Donore Avenue, Dublin 8.

The Dial to Stop Drug Dealing campaign, which has been in operation since September 2008, provides people with a safe and confidential means to pass on information on drug dealing. To strengthen the impact of the campaign, from 2012 onwards the initiative will be operated in partnership with Crimestoppers, which has an excellent track record in acting on confidential information.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Shortall said: “Drug dealing ruins lives and can wreak havoc in communities. People may not realise that they can make a significant difference by dialling Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25. Even the smallest piece of information could prove useful to the Gardaí in carrying out their investigations”.

Also attending the launch were the Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague, the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, the Chairperson of the Irish Crimestoppers Trust, Mr. Tim Dalton and the Chairperson of the South Inner City Local Drugs Task Force, Councillor Dermot Lacey.

The Lord Mayor, who has established a Commission on Anti-Social Behaviour, stated: “I am delighted to lend my support to the Dial to Stop Drug Dealing/Crimestoppers collaboration. If we all work together, I believe we can create a safer environment for our communities”

The Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said: “Often, those who want to take action might be close to the perpetrators and might fear retribution. Through this initiative a secure means is available to get the information to the Gardaí.”

Concluding the proceedings, the Chairperson of the Irish Crimestoppers Trust, Mr. Dalton said: “Crimestoppers is delighted to be partnering with the Department of Health in this campaign. Crimestoppers is a free and anonymous service for anyone to report crime - you don't have to give your name or say where you live when you call the Crimestoppers number. If you have information on drug dealing in your community, by calling Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25 you can help the Gardaí to rid your area of drug dealing”.

ENDS

Note for Editors

Dial to Stop Drug Dealing Campaign

The Dial to Stop Drug Dealing Campaign developed from a pilot originally run in 2006 by Blanchardstown Local Drugs Task Force. The objective of the campaign is to provide people with a safe and confidential means to pass on information on drug dealing. To date, 10,500 calls have been made generating over 3,000 reports to the Gardaí.

Until the end of 2011, a UK based phone line was used in the campaign. Following a review of the initiative, it has been decided to put in place a more cost effective approach to promoting the campaign in partnership with Crimestoppers from 2012 onwards. This decision is based on the very low number of calls that could be used by the Gardaí, typically less than 50 per month, received by the Dial to Stop Drug Dealing Phone line.

The Crimestoppers phone number 1800 25 00 25 will be promoted in Drugs Task Force areas and other areas where there is a high concentration of drug activity. The initial focus will be on the greater Dublin area, with possible expansion to other areas later in the year. The Drugs Task Forces will be key players in identifying where promotional posters will have the most effect, given their ongoing engagement with communities.

Crimestoppers

The Irish Crimestoppers Trust was set up in 1998 by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and An Garda Síochána to provide a confidential means for every citizen to report crime by calling a freephone confidential number. The sponsors include a small number of commercial organisations along with the Department of Justice and Equality.

The line is open from 9am until 9pm daily. Messages may be left outside those times. All calls to Crimestoppers are free and anonymous. Callers do not need to give their name or address. Calls are answered by Gardaí who are trained to take information from anonymous callers in such a way as it can be useful in an investigation.

Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces

There are 14 Local and 10 Regional Drugs Task Forces covering the country, which provide a targeted and coordinated response to drugs issues as they affect people on the ground. Membership of the Task Forces includes representatives of the relevant statutory agencies and the community and voluntary sectors.

For further information:

Martin Woods, Department of Health Press Office, 01 6353036

Paula Eager, Irish Crimestoppers Trust, 01 7038612/ 087 4109910