Written Answers - Garda Resources.

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 599 No. 5

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  459.  Mr. Gogarty  Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   his plans to increase Garda levels at each station in the Dublin Mid-West constituency by 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8681/05]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  I have been informed by the Garda authorities responsible for the detailed allocation of Garda resources, including personnel, that the Dublin metropolitan region west division was created from parts of the Dublin metropolitan region north and south divisions in 1997. The personnel strength — all ranks — of the Dublin metropolitan region west division as at the 31 December 1997 and 17 March 2005 is as set out hereunder.

Divisional Strength 1997 2005 Increase/ Decrease Percentage (%) Change
DMR West 502 668 166 +33%

This represents an increase of 166, or 33%, in the number of personnel allocated to the division since that date.

Garda personnel assigned throughout the country, together with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy, are constantly monitored and reviewed. Such monitoring [1488]ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources and that the best possible service is provided to the public. On Garda resources generally, 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 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 now draw up plans on how best to distribute and manage these additional resources. In this context, the needs of the Dublin metropolitan region west division will be fully considered within the context of the needs of Garda divisions throughout the country. Clearly the additional resources will be targeted at the areas of greatest need, as is envisaged in the programme for Government. The programme identifies in 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 very significantly increase the number of gardaí allocated to traffic duties as part of the new Garda traffic corps. I have already promised that the additional gardaí will not be put on administrative duties, they will be put directly into frontline, operational, high-visibility policing. They will have a real impact.

  460.  Mr. P. Breen  Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   the additional resources which are being made available to the gardaí in Kilrush, County Clare, to aid their efforts to put an end to the recent spate of acts of vandalism in the town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8710/05]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  I am advised by the Garda authorities responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength of Kilrush Garda station as at 18 March 2005 was 27, all ranks. Garda personnel assigned to Kilrush, together with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy, are continually monitored and reviewed. Such monitoring ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources, and that the best possible service is provided to the public. I am further advised that a number of operational initiatives have been effected in order to address the recent incidents of criminal damage in Kilrush, resulting in a number of persons being arrested and brought before the courts.

On Garda resources generally, 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 agreed programme for Government commitment in this regard. This is a key commitment in the programme for Government, and its imple[1489]mentation will significantly strengthen the operational capacity of the force.

The Commissioner will now draw up plans on how best to distribute and manage these additional resources. In this context, the needs of Kilrush Garda station will be fully considered within the context of the needs of Garda stations throughout the country. Clearly, the additional resources will be targeted at the areas of greatest need, as is envisaged in the programme for Government. The programme identifies in 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 very significantly increase the number of gardaí allocated to traffic duties as part of the new Garda traffic corps. I have already promised that the additional gardaí will not be put on administrative duties, they will be put directly into frontline, operational, high-visibility policing. They will have a real impact.


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