Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

Coastal Watch - A Multi Agency Initiative For the Pevention and Detection of Illegal Drug Importation 8th July 2021

Issue Date: 8th July 2021

An Garda Síochána in Cork City Garda Division, in collaboration with the Revenue's Customs Service and the Irish Naval Service, are today refocusing the Cork City Division Coastal Watch for coastal area’s and the ever growing Cork harbour.

This multi-agency initiative aimed at the prevention and detection of illegal drug importation will promote vigilance from coastal communities and the wide range of organisations and agencies that operate at sea and along our Coast and harbours.

An Garda Síochána, Revenue's Customs Service and the Irish Naval Service will further develop and strengthen each agency’s role and the complementary relationship that exists between all agencies in the fight against drug smuggling in the maritime domain. One of the aims of Coastal watch is to raise community awareness about risk indicators and previous case studies of successful drug interdictions, where information received from the public was critical to stopping drugs reaching vulnerable communities.

Speaking today Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said, "The purpose of the Coastal Watch launch is to focus the attention of the statutory and voluntary organizations along with farming groups, coastal communities, commercial and fishing industry and all those who use our seas for business and pleasure purposes on how they can assist the statutory agencies in "Keeping Drugs at Bay".

With a multi-disciplinary approach by everybody who attended today's launch, it will ensure a formidable force is in place so that our coastline is not used for drug importation, or if it is that there are, many eyes that will report unusual activity along our coastline.

Coastal Watch has been in existence for over 30 years and it has proved to be a success. However, personnel in organisations change, landowners near coastline change and communities change with passage of time. Therefore today is about re-energising Coastal Watch in Cork City Garda Division and ensuring that Coastal Watch is a success".

Some of the risk indicators that members of the public are requested to be on the lookout for are:

  • Suspicious activity in relation to persons or vehicles
  • Ships and yachts sighted in remote areas
  • Crew making landings in remote areas
  • Unusual objects at sea or ashore
  • Ships away from their normal shipping lanes
  • Vessels operating at night without lights
  • Packages floating in the sea, lying on the beach or hidden close to the shore.

Members of the public are requested to report any unusual activity to any of the following numbers:

Customs Drugs Watch - Confidential Freephone number 1800 295 295 Anglesea St Garda Station 021-4542000 Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 Emergency Number 112/999 Naval Operations Centre 021– 4864707