Written Answers. - Juvenile Liaison Officer Scheme.

45.

asked the Minister for Justice if he has any plans to extend the scope and operation of the juvenile liaison officer scheme.

46.

asked the Minister for Justice the number of Garda officers currently operating the juvenile liaison officer scheme; where each such Garda officer is stationed; the nature of any specialist training provided for such Garda officers; and the relevant command structure applicable to the juvenile liaison officers within the Garda force.

47.

asked the Minister for Justice the number of young persons dealt with in each of the last three years by Garda officers pursuant to the juvenile liaison officers scheme; and the nature of the work currently undertaken by juvenile liaison officers.

48.

asked the Minister for Justice the total number of gardaí employed (a) full time, and (b) part time in the juvenile liaison officer scheme on the first day of 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985 in (1) Dublin and (2) the rest of the country.

Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 45 to 48, inclusive, together.

The allocation of manpower to specialised units such as the juvenile liaison officer scheme is a matter for decision by the Garda authorities in the light of their assessment of needs having regard to overall resources and other demands on Garda services.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a total of 79 members are at present assigned full time to juvenile liaison officer duties. The deployment of the members concerned is set out in the attached tables.

The juvenile liaison officer scheme essentially provides for the cautioning of certain juveniles as an alternative to prosecution. The function of the juvenile liaison officer is to maintain contact with any juvenile assigned to him. The juvenile may be one who has committed an offence and having been warned, has been informally committed to the care of the officer. The juvenile liaison officer may also be given the care and guidance of a young person who, though not known to have committed an offence, may be regarded as a potential delinquent by reason of unsatisfactory behaviour, such as persistent truancy, running away from home, staying out late at night, unruly at school or at home, behaving in a disorderly manner, or frequenting undesirable places. Such cases would come to notice through teachers, parents, school attendance officers, or other gardaí.

The number of young persons dealt with under the scheme in each of the last three years is as follows: 1982, 4,743; 1983, 5,404; 1984, 6,278.

A central administrative section in Garda headquarters is responsible for the overall control, administration and operation of the scheme. Each juvenile liaison officer is accountable to his local district officer. Members are required to undergo a special residential training course of a month's duration covering a range of subjects relevant to the work and duties of a juvenile liaison officer. These courses are held in the Garda Training Centre, Templemore.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that while an additional nine juvenile liaison officers have recently been appointed, there are no proposals at present to extend the scope and operation of the scheme, but the matter will be kept under review.

Table I

Assignment of Juvenile Liaison Officers

Location

Members Assigned

Total

D.M.A.

3 Sergeants, 24 Gardaí, 8 Ban-ghardaí

35

DMA Headquarters, Harcourt Square

3 Sergeants and 1 Ban-gharda

4

A District Kevin St./Kilmainham

2 Gardaí

2

B District Pearse St./Harcourt Tce.

1 Garda

1

C District Store St./Fitzgibbon St.

1 Garda and 1 Ban-gharda

2

D District Bridewell/Mountjoy

1 Garda

1

E District Donnybrook/Irishtown

1 Garda

1

F District Dun Laoghaire/Dalkey Kill O'Grange/Cabinteely

1 Garda

1

G District Crumlin/Sundrive Rd.

1 Garda and 1 Ban-gharda

2

H District Whitehall/Santry/Ballymun

2 Gardaí and 1 Ban-gharda

3

J District Raheny/Howth/Clontarf

2 Gardaí

2

K District Cabra/Finglas/Blanchardstown

2 Gardaí and 1 Ban-gharda

3

L District Ballyfermot/Lucan Clondalkin/Ronanstown

2 Gardaí

2

M District Rathfarnham/Tallaght

2 Gardaí and 1 Ban-gharda

3

N District Bray/Shankill/ Enniskerry/Greystones

1 Garda

1

P District Rathmines/Terenure

1 Garda

1

R District Coolock/Malahide/Swords

3 Garda and 1 Ban-gharda

4

W District Blackrock/Dundrum/Stepaside

1 Garda and 1 Ban-gharda

2

Cork

1 Sergeant, 4 Gardaí

5

Limerick

1 Sergeant, 1 Garda

2

Galway

2 Gardaí

2

Kilkenny

2 Gardaí

2

Waterford

2 Gardaí

2

Other Provincial Centres 31 — 1 at each of the following centres:

Bandon, Dungarvan, Clonmel, Nenagh, Tralee, Killarney, Ennis, Wexford, Arklow, New Ross, Carlow, Newbridge, Tullamore, Portlaoise, Balbriggan, Navan, Dundalk, Drogheda, Athlone, Mullingar, Longford, Sligo, Tuam, Castlebar, Cavan, Carrickmacross, Donegal, Letterkenny, Buncrana, Cobh, Middleton.

Table II

Number of full-time Juvenile Liaison Officers

(The appointment of part-time Juvenile Liaison Officers was discontinued in 1975).

D.M.A.

County

Total

1 January, 1982

25

44

69

1 January, 1983

26

44

70

1 January, 1984

24(26 on 9/1/84)

44

68

1 January, 1985

26

43

69

28 May, 1985

35

44

79