Written Answers. - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

927 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the action he is taking to deal with safety on the streets of Dublin; if he will review and extend closed circuit television surveillance; the plans in this regard; if Garda patrols in the Dublin area will be increased; the number of gardaí in Dublin from 1998 to 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20415/00]

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

931 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the plans he has to extend CCTV surveillance in the Dublin area; the costs envisaged; the budget allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20439/00]

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

932 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the new areas which will be provided with CCTV surveillance in the Dublin area. [20440/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 927, 931 and 932 together.

The advisory committee that was established by the Garda Commissioner to evaluate applications for Garda CCTV systems has, to date, received in excess of 40 applications or expressions of interest from cities and towns for CCTV systems, as aids to policing. These include Ballyfermot, Ballymun, Blanchardstown, Clondalkin, Dublin (South Central), Dún Laoghaire, Finglas and Tallaght. It is too early at this stage to say precisely how much all of these projects – if approved – would cost.

The Cork and Dublin (South Central) CCTV projects are currently being undertaken. The budget for 2000 is £700,000. Recently the CCTV system in the O'Connell Street and adjoining areas was increased from 38 to 42 cameras and the CCTV system in Pearse Street – Dublin (South Central) is currently being increased from nine to 24 cameras.
I have also been informed by the Garda authorities that each chief superintendent in the Dublin metropolitan area is maintaining ongoing initiatives under the umbrella "Operation Oíche" tackling street crime, drunkenness and public order problems generally. Locations of recurring incidents are receiving particular focus with emphasis on high visibility patrolling. Special resource units and unmarked crime task force units are also utilised to the full.
I also understand that "Pinch-Point" locations in the city have been selected for intensive patrolling involving the Garda mounted unit, the Garda dog unit and the Garda air support unit. Elsewhere, public order units are deployed to augment regular resources at appropriate times and locations.
In addition to the proactive policing measures a specific programme of consultation is on-going with publicans, hoteliers, off-licences, night-clubs owners etc., with a view to ensuring full legislative compliance with the Intoxicating Liquor Acts, Licensing (Combating of Drugs) Act, and other relevant legislation.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that they are fully committed to participation in the Garda youth crime prevention and diversion projects which are being greatly expanded in accordance with the National Development Plan 2000-2006. Closer liaison is being maintained with local authorities in regard to estate management to ensure a combined response to anti-social behaviour.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of street patrols in the Dublin area have not been cut back. The overall levels of policing throughout the region have been maintained. Resources are deployed at all times with greatest concentration in problem areas. In cases where problem areas are identified the levels of patrols are increased to support initiatives taken to tackle the specific problem. In these cases special beat patrols have been introduced to augment normal patrols.