Wednesday, 2 March 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
198. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Garda patrol cars attached to Clontarf, Coolock, Santry and Raheny stations; the number of gardaí in these stations; if there will be increases in 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7258/05]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the number of Garda vehicles — all types — attached to the Clontarf, Coolock, Santry and Raheny stations is as set out in the following table:
An additional four gardaí are due to be allocated to Santry Garda station and an additional three gardaí are due to be allocated to Coolock Garda station on 1 April 2005, in conjunction with the allocation of a newly attested group of probationer gardaí.
With regard to Garda resources generally, I am pleased the Government has approved my proposal to increase the strength of the Garda to 14,000 members on a phased basis, in line with the Agreed Programme for Government commitment in this regard. This is a key commitment in the programme for Government, and its implementation will significantly strengthen the operational capacity of the force.
The commissioner will draw up plans on how best to distribute and manage these additional resources. In this context, the needs of the Garda stations at Clontarf, Coolock, Santry and Raheny will be fully considered within the context of the needs of Garda stations throughout the country. The additional resources will be targeted at the areas of greatest need, as is envisaged in the programme for Government. The programme identifies particular areas with a significant drugs problem and a large number of public order offences but it will be possible to address other priorities as well such as the need to significantly increase the number of gardaí allocated to traffic duties as part of the new Garda traffic corps. I have promised that the additional gardaí will not be put on administrative duties and they will be put directly into frontline, operational, high-visibility policing. They will have a real impact.
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