Written Answers. - Garda Deployment.

John Bruton

Question:

812 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will allocate additional gardaí to patrol the Laytown, Bettystown, Duleek, Stamullen, Julianstown and adjoining areas of east Meath where an increase in crime was reported over the last number of months (details supplied); if he will place the east Meath area under the control of the gardaí in the Drogheda district in view of the fact the Drogheda rather than the Navan headquarters is closer and is used by residents in east Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1352/99]

The detailed deployment of Garda personnel to individual areas is a matter for the Garda authorities. They have informed me that the policing of areas of east Meath, such as Laytown, Bettystown and Julianstown, are in the sub-district of Laytown, with the district headquarters for the area being Drogheda. Stamullen is in the Balbriggan district, as Stamullen is four miles closer to Balbriggan than to Drogheda. The district headquarters for Duleek is in Navan.

The personnel strength by district as of 5 January 1999 is as follows:–

District

Strength (all ranks)

Drogheda

108

Balbriggan

55

Navan

66

The Garda authorities have also informed me that the personnel strength at Laytown station has been increased by three gardaí to one sergeant and seven gardaí since 1996, and Duleek sub-district has recently been brought up to its previous strength of one sergeant and three gardaí.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that the indications are that the crime rate for both the Drogheda and Navan Districts is likely to have decreased in 1998.
The Garda authorities have also advised that the policing of the areas is constantly reviewed and that there are no plans to alter district boundaries at this point in time. However, the needs of the division will be considered in conjunction with all other divisions throughout the country when resources next become available.