Illegal drugs to the value of €641,313 were seized by gardai in Waterford in the first six months of 2008, with a significant increase in heroin detections on previous years.

At a meeting of the Waterford City Joint Policing Committee this week, Supt Chris Delaney expressed serious concern about the escalation of heroin use in Waterford, noting the 17 arrests for possession of the drug and further 7 for dealing in the first half of 2008.

Cannabis is still the most prevalent illegal drug in Warerford, with 125 detections in the local garda division in the first six months of the year and 24 arrests for dealing. Ecstasy detections accounted for 24 charges of possession and 5 of dealing.

The meeting also heard how gardai in Waterford have put in 12,137 hours in overtime, to date, dealing with over 100 incidents in the ongoing Traveller feud since it erupted in July. A total of 47 people have been arrested for various offences, including public order, arson attacks, assaults, car rammings and discharging of firearms a massive amount of firearms, including slash hooks, petrol bombs, machetes, knives and hatchets, have been seized.

The two-month feud has had an enormous impact on local garda resources, according to Supt Delaney, with significant additional manpower drafted in from adjoining divisions in Kilkenny, Wexford and Tipperary.