Wednesday, 17 November 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
398. Mr. O’Connor asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the additional resources that are being made available to the Garda Síochána in Tallaght, Dublin 24; the actions to be provided in that regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28748/04]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell):
I have been informed by the Garda authorities which are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength, all ranks, of Tallaght Garda station on 15 November 2004 was 169. The figure compares to 133 gardaí on 1 January 1998 and represents an increase of 36, or
27%, since that date. Garda management will continue to appraise the policing and administrative strategy employed in Tallaght to ensure that an effective Garda service is maintained. The situation will reviewed by Garda management. The needs of Tallaght will be considered when additional personnel next becomes available, within the overall context of the needs of Garda stations throughout the country.
I am pleased that the Government has approved my proposal to increase the strength of the Garda Síochána to 14,000 members on a phased basis, in line with the key commitment in An Agreed Programme for Government. The implementation of the commitment will significantly strengthen the force’s operational capacity. The Commissioner will draw up plans on how best to distribute and manage the resources, which will be targeted at areas of greatest need, as envisaged in the programme for Government. The programme identifies areas with significant drugs problems and a large number of public order offences. It will be possible to address other priorities, such as the need to increase significantly the number of gardaí allocated to traffic duties. I have promised that the additional gardaí will not be put on administrative duties. They will be put directly into frontline, operational, high-visibility policing and will have a real impact.
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