Thursday, 30 October 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
149. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of community police stationed at Blanchardstown Garda station, Dublin 15, at present and at the end of each year since 2002; his views on whether there is a sufficient number of community police stationed at Blanchardstown Garda station; his plans to expand the number of community police stationed at Blanchardstown Garda station during the years 2009, 2010 and 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37654/08]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of the Community Policing Unit attached to Blanchardstown Garda Station for each of the past five years and as at 31 September 2008, the latest date for which figures are readily available was as set out in the following table.
It is, of course, the case that all Gardaí have a role to play in addressing community policing issues as and when the need arises. In that sense, community policing involves far more than a single unit within the Garda Síochána, and I agree with the view expressed by the Garda Inspectorate in their third report entitled “Policing in Ireland — Looking Forward” that community policing is a fundamental policing philosophy and that there is a strong foundation for it in Ireland. I am also looking forward to receiving from the Commissioner, in the near future, a copy of the final report of a working group developing proposals for a comprehensive model of rural and urban community policing.
It is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner to allocate personnel throughout the Force taking everything into account. The situation will be kept under review and when additional personnel next become available the allocation of Community Gardaí will be fully considered by the Commissioner within the overall context of policing requirements throughout the country.
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