UK to follow our example with ban on head shops
BRITAIN may follow the Irish example in introducing 'catch-all' legislation to tackle the growth of head shops.
British Home Secretary Theresa May expressed deep interest in the measures being brought in by the Government here when she met Justice Minister Dermot Ahern for talks in London yesterday.
Mr Ahern briefed her on the bill, which he hopes to pilot through the Dail and Seanad before the summer recess next month, and its focus on orders shutting down the shops rather than banning specific products.
Officials said last night that Mrs May had requested further details on the legislation, which was described last week by Mr Ahern as groundbreaking.
The British government has been facing some of the problems encountered by the authorities here when head shops began circumventing the list of banned substances by introducing new products to the shelves.
The two ministers also discussed the dangers posed by international terror groups linked to al-Qa'ida in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012.
They agreed that gardai would work closely with British police forces in combating the threat and would continue to gather intelligence and monitor the movements of known suspects within their jurisdictions.
Gardai are expected to step up security at air and sea ports as well as keeping watch along the Border.
During a separate meeting with new UK justice minister Ken Clarke, Mr Ahern sought information on the success rate of the electronic tagging of prisoners. This policy has been implemented in Britain for more than a decade and a pilot project is due to get under way here next month.
Mr Ahern also met the new immigration minister, Damian Green, for talks on border controls and the operation of the common travel area.
Meanwhile, Ireland has ratified the United Nations convention against transnational organised crime, known as the Palermo convention, as well as measures to prevent and punish human trafficking.
"Criminals have no respect for borders and it was important for Ireland to demonstrate that we will play our part in the international effort to disrupt and destroy these activities," Mr Ahern said.