Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 605 No. 4

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  366.  Mr. Timmins  Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   the crime statistics across all headings for the years 1997 and 2004 for the areas of Bray, Wicklow and Arklow; the number of gardaí based in each of these areas in 1997 and 2004; the number of crimes detected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23248/05]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  As regards crime figures, the Deputy will be aware that on becoming Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, I arranged for the publication of headline crime statistics on a quarterly basis in order to improve the quality of information available to the public. While caution should be exercised in interpreting levels of crime between quarters, I am pleased to note that during my term of office as Minister, the quarterly crime rate has decreased from 6.7 per 1,000 population to 6 per 1,000 over the longer period of 11 quarters for which figures are available. This trend is reflected throughout most Garda districts in the country. In interpreting these fig[1405]ures, account has also to be taken of the introduction of the new PULSE computer system by the Garda Síochána in 1999, which led to more complete and comprehensive recording of crimes reported than was previously the case. The Deputy will also wish to be aware that, taking into account the significant increase in our population since 1995, the headline crime rate has fallen from 29 per 1,000 population in 1995 to 25 per 1,000 population in 2004.

[1406]I am informed by the Garda authorities that the table below shows the headline offences, by group, for the Garda district of Bray and for the Garda district of Gorey which includes the Arklow area and for Wicklow Garda district. It is important to note that the figures for 1997 are not comparable to statistics provided for the years 2000 onwards.

Headline Offences Recorded and Detected for Wicklow Garda District from 2000 to 2004.

Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec
Homicide 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Assault 24 24 24 24 45 37 32 29 36 29
Sexual Offences 9 3 21 20 12 9 12 4 13 6
Arson 14 4 3 0 3 1 6 3 3 1
Drugs 13 13 6 6 2 2 15 15 10 10
Thefts 348 125 404 139 540 118 462 120 407 114
Burglary 240 67 233 56 295 48 264 34 288 48
Robbery 5 4 11 6 10 5 4 0 9 3
Fraud 42 41 32 27 29 22 29 10 16 10
Other 2 2 6 6 18 14 9 8 13 8
Total 699 285 740 284 954 256 833 223 796 230

Headline Offences Recorded and Detected for Arklow Garda District from 2000 to 2004.

Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec
Homicide 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Assault 8 8 18 16 41 38 37 26 37 26
Sexual Offences 2 2 15 11 14 9 19 13 20 12
Arson 4 1 7 2 14 3 8 2 2 0
Drugs 25 25 22 22 25 25 19 19 23 23
Thefts 163 64 228 99 371 143 395 141 398 155
Burglary 238 90 232 91 248 41 292 46 300 45
Robbery 13 7 8 7 8 2 7 7 15 8
Fraud 27 26 24 23 14 10 22 11 23 20
Other 6 6 9 8 17 13 11 7 24 20
Total 486 229 563 279 752 284 810 272 842 309

Headline Offences Recorded and Detected for Bray Garda District from 2000 to 2004.

Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec Rec Dec
Homicide 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 2 1
Assault 15 10 54 37 92 71 66 48 70 29
Sexual Offences 14 11 17 10 32 22 31 20 34 13
Arson 23 14 49 10 23 4 35 4 25 1
Drugs 21 21 45 45 55 55 41 41 27 27
Thefts 727 158 751 168 858 181 892 192 952 184
Burglary 625 167 612 122 644 81 879 95 690 69
Robbery 46 17 47 19 54 20 59 18 50 11
Fraud 36 34 32 26 90 76 39 29 35 16
Other 0 0 17 13 30 21 11 7 15 5
Total 1507 432 1625 451 1878 531 2054 455 1900 356

[1407]I have been informed by the Garda authorities, which are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength of Arklow Garda station as at 31 December in each of the years 1997 to 2004 was as set out in the attached table:

Date Strength
31/12/1997 22
31/12/1998 25
31/12/1999 24
31/12/2000 24
31/12/2001 25
31/12/2002 28
31/12/2003 27
31/12/2004 28

The personnel strength of Bray Garda station as at 31 December in each of the years 1997 to 2004 was as set out in the attached table:

Date Strength
31/12/1997 76
31/12/1998 74
31/12/1999 76
31/12/2000 77
31/12/2001 77
31/12/2002 79
31/12/2003 75
31/12/2004 85

The personnel strength of Wicklow town Garda station as at 31 December in each of the years 1997 to 2004 was as set out in the table hereunder:

Date Strength
31/12/1997 33
31/12/1998 39
31/12/1999 40
31/12/2000 39
31/12/2001 40
31/12/2002 41
31/12/2003 39
31/12/2004 36

Local Garda management states that the existing available resources at the Garda stations to which [1408]I refer are adequate to meet the current policing needs of the area.

As regards 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 commitment in An 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 be drawing up plans on how best to distribute and manage these additional resources. In this context, the needs of all Garda stations including those referred to by the Deputy will be fully considered within the context of the needs of Garda stations throughout the country. Clearly, of course, the additional resources will be targeted at the areas of greatest need, as envisaged in the programme for Government. The programme identifies particular areas with significant drugs problems and large numbers 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. One thing I have already promised is 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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