Other Questions

Garda Deployment

Billy Kelleher

Question:

75Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will outline, in tabular form on a county basis, the number of crime prevention officers that have retired in 2010 and 2011; the number that have been replaced; the arrangements in place for those who have not been replaced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22622/12]

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that seven crime prevention officers retired between 2010 and today's date. To crime prevention officers have been appointed by the Commissioner in the same period. The location of those who have retired and who have been appointed are set out in a table I will circulate with this reply.

Where the crime prevention function of the Garda Síochána is not provided at a district level, crime prevention and personal security advice is provided by appropriate divisional resources, including where necessary the services of the divisional crime prevention officer from neighbouring Garda divisions. It also is of course the case that all gardaí have a role in crime prevention.

I have no function in the internal allocation of Garda resources, including personnel but I am aware that Garda management keeps under review distributional Garda personnel in the light of available resources, crime trends and policing priorities at district, divisional and regional level. I have no doubt the position of crime prevention officers will be considered as part of this ongoing process.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House

Location

Retired 2010

Replaced

Retired 2011

Replaced

Retired 2012

Replaced

Limerick

1

Yes

Kildare

1

Yes

Tipperary

1

No

Kilkenny

1

No

National Crime Prevention Unit

1

No

Kerry

1

No

DMR East

1

No

I thank the Minister. If I may raise an issue for the Leas-Cheann Comhairle and the Ceann Comhairle, given the manner in which replies are given in this format, I note Members do not have access to the aforementioned table. Perhaps, with his Dáil reform hat on, the Leas-Cheann Comhairle might look into this matter. However, the key message is five people have not been replaced since 2010. I will give the Minister an example of the impact this is having. One of those not replaced is in Tipperary. I have been contacted by a group in Tipperary and by Councillor Siobhán Ambrose on this matter. When the assistance of a crime prevention officer is needed in Tipperary the appointed officer in Waterford is called in. This situation has been ongoing since December 2010.

Given the Minister's earlier response in regard to burglary statistics, it is a matter of priority that there be a crime prevention officer in every county to drive home the message of burglary prevention. I am not sure what extra salary or allowances a crime prevention officer receives. However, five counties have been without a crime prevention officer since December 2010. While I understand every garda is involved in crime prevention work and that all gardaí are currently under huge pressure, the crime prevention officer has a specific role and mandate with which people and communities can identify. I ask that the Minister strongly suggest to Garda management that these vacancies be filled as a matter of urgency.

We all have a role to play in crime prevention and in making considered decisions in this area. It is not for me to second guess operational decisions made by the Garda Commissioner. The Deputy is correct that no crime prevention officer has been formally appointed in Tipperary following a retirement in December 2010. Deployment of members of the force is ultimately a matter for the Garda Commissioner. I am happy to bring the concerns expressed by the Deputy on this issue to his attention.

Garda Stations

Barry Cowen

Question:

76Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to his comments at the AGSI conference, when he intends to publish the list of garda stations he intends to propose for closure in 2013; the number of stations the Garda Commissioner proposed for closure in 2012 versus the amount that have actually been closed; the projected savings in 2012 from the stations that have been closed; if the new garda roster changes will impact on the proposed number of station closures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22619/12]

Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner must, before November each year, submit a policing plan for the following year to the Minister. The Commissioner must include in that plan any proposal to either open or close a Garda station. It will, therefore, be towards the end of this year before the Policing Plan for 2013 is received, approved and published.

Members will be aware that the Garda Commissioner proposed the closure of 39 Garda stations in his Policing Plan 2012, many of which were only open for limited periods, eight of which were non-operational, some for many years, and one of which had been non-operational since 1985. Almost all of the closures have taken place and the process will be completed by end June this year. In commenting on these proposals in the policing plan the Garda Commissioner said, "These decisions were only made after careful analysis and research and I am confident that this action will result in a more efficient delivery of policing services".

It is not practical to give a precise figure for the savings resulting from the closure of Garda stations. Savings on heating and lighting bills would be minor and would vary from station to station and savings resulting from avoidance of repair bills would vary depending on the condition of stations and would be difficult to calculate. The key point is that the closures are not about minor savings but the more effective deployment of gardaí on operational duties. The issue is whether for any given Garda force strength we want more gardaí in stations or more gardaí on operational duties.

Critics of these closures are in effect arguing that we should not close even one of the 703 garda stations that have been, more or less, in place since the foundation of the State, despite the revolution that has taken place in transport, communications and technology since then. Not only do they not accept these realities or the professional judgment of the Garda Commissioner about how best to deploy gardaí but they ignore the international evidence. For example, Scotland, with a population of 5.2 million people - a directly comparable jurisdiction in many ways - has only 306 stations, which is less than half the 703 garda stations we had at the beginning of this year.

Additional Information not given on the floor of the House.

I fully support the Garda Commissioner in his efforts to deploy gardaí more effectively so as to enhance the policing service. In that context, it is worth noting that new garda rosters were introduced last week on a pilot basis. These new rosters, which are separate and distinct from the issue of rationalising the station network, have been developed following detailed consultations between Garda management and the Garda representative associations under the Croke Park agreement. They are designed to maximise the deployment of gardaí at times of peak demand, while at the same time improving the work-life balance of members. This is another example of improved efficiency and effectiveness in the Garda Síochána which we should all support.

I have no difficulty with non-operational stations being officially closed. However, while two of the four stations closed in my county were non-operational two others were operational in busy communities, one of which the Government and previous Administration invested in by way of a major tourism initiative and which is drawing in 50,000 people.

Last week the Garda Commissioner said Garda station closures will affect rural areas but they also affect metropolitan areas. Two stations have been closed on the north side of this city and people will be affected. We are all for more gardaí on the street but we will not be able to measure that until the end of this year. The reason we keep asking the Minister is that it was not the Garda Commissioner who went to the AGSI conference and announced more closures; it was the Minister. He is becoming a bit of a cheerleader for closing these stations but when the political heat is turned on, it is a matter for the Garda Commissioner. Will the Minister clarify that the Garda Commissioner presents him with the list and that he makes the call on it?

The Deputy is, of course, right in saying the Garda Commissioner presents me with a policing plan and that it is for me to approve it. I rely on the Garda Commissioner's expertise in making operational judgments in these matters. To come back to what I said earlier, we had 703 Garda stations at the beginning of this year. A comparable jurisdiction, Scotland, with a higher population, has 360 police stations. In 2000, there were in the region of 160 police stations in Northern Ireland but today, it has 80 and it is reviewing the numbers there with a projected possible number of stations by 2014-2015 of somewhere between 45 to 50.

It is not in the interests of the community for members of the Garda force to sit in stations; it about them being engaged in front line policing for which they are trained. If the Garda Commissioner judges that members of the force can better fulfil the public obligations and duties of the force by being engaged in front line policing rather than sitting behind desks in buildings, I will fully support him in those decisions.

The Deputy is right that I said at the GRA conference that I anticipated there would be further station closures. Based on the implementation of all the closures taking place, we will be left with 664 stations which is practically double the current number in Scotland. I anticipate it is likely in the policing plan we will receive at the end of the year that there will be a proposal for more stations closures to ensure resources are used more effectively and to ensure the skills of front line, well-trained police officers are used to protect the community rather than have them simply sitting in stations which have no recognised operational value in the context of the Garda Commissioner's view. When it comes to how many may be closed or what the position will be in 2013, I will substantially rely on the Commissioner's expertise in that context.

The other part of the question was about the new Garda rosters. There is a later question on that but we may not get to it. How will that impact on stations and on operational issues?

In light of what the Minister said about having more gardaí on the street and not being stuck behind desks, how is the civilianisation process progressing?

I think everyone forgets that currently we have approximately 2,000 civilians working within the Garda force. We also have 935 members of the Garda Reserve, which did not exist some years ago. As Deputy O'Brien knows, because of current economic circumstances, we are not in a position to expand employment in these areas. However, they are backups which the gardaí would not have had available to them a decade ago at those levels and it is easy to ignore them.

In regard to the Garda rosters, I very much welcome the fact the new rosters have come into force. I thank the representative organisations for their co-operation in the discussions that have taken place to bring the Garda rosters into force. It is early days but I am advised that the roster system is working extremely well and that it is having the benefit that members of the force are now available on days of the week when the most need arises and that there is a new focus in the manner in which policing can take place.

I think they are also more user-friendly for members of the force. I was fortunate this week to have had conversations with a couple of members of the force who told me how beneficial they found the rosters. I did not go looking for the conversations, but the members spoke to me about the new hours and how those impact on their lives. It has been a successful start to the new rostering system. The roster is to the benefit of the community, ensures that we use our resources more wisely and in a more targeted way and will provide for a better work-life experience for members of An Garda Síochána.

Garda Equipment

Patrick Nulty

Question:

77Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the guidelines covering the use of pepper spray by An Garda Síochána; if he is satisfied that An Garda Síochána are using these guidelines correctly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22605/12]

A detailed manual on Garda policy and procedures in respect of the use of incapacitant spray has been developed by the Garda Commissioner and is published on the Garda website. The manual sets out the detailed considerations that must always be taken into account by a member of the Garda Síochána before using incapacitant spray. Any use of such a spray, as with any use of force in general, must be in accordance with law, in particular the law on the use of force set out in the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997. In effect, the use of such sprays must be necessary and must be reasonable in the circumstances.

Garda members are trained in the lawful use of incapacitant spray and, as the manual makes clear, are individually responsible and answerable for their actions in its use. It is also the case that every incident where incapacitant spray is deployed is notified to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, which can investigate any question of misuse. Comprehensive policy and procedures in respect of the use of incapacitant spray and appropriate safeguards to ensure compliance with those standards have been put in place.

I thank the Minister for his response. I recognise the fact that we must ensure that the Garda Síochána can conduct its work in as safe a manner as possible, but the use of this spray was only sanctioned by one of the Minister's predecessors in 2008, prior to which gardaí were able to conduct their work adequately. Is access to this type of facility adding to good policing? I have concerns. According to a response to my colleague, Deputy Seán Kenny, rolling out this facility has cost approximately €350,000.

We must remember that gardaí have a duty of care towards citizens who are engaging in legitimate political demonstrations and activities. I am sceptical about whether the access to or use of pepper spray, as it is colloquially known, assists good policing and community relations. One of our great strengths is that the Garda is a civilian police force. Facilities such as this need to be used with extreme caution, particularly given the fact that political activity will hopefully increase in the months and years ahead.

I agree with the Deputy that such sprays must be used only in appropriate circumstances, as prescribed by the guidelines. I do not see why any increase in, as the Deputy described it, political activity should result in the use of such sprays. I am conscious that some of those who purport to be engaging in political activity resort to violence and abuse and disregard requests from the Garda Síochána to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner. There are individuals engaged in protest who seek to intimidate innocent persons going about their business. It is the job of the Garda Síochána to maintain law and order. I would be the first to defend any individual's right in this State to engage in peaceful protest on any issue, but I will not defend individuals who resort to violence or attack members of the Garda or the general community.

Members of the Garda Síochána have received appropriate training in the use of this spray. The Garda website outlines the details of the procedures applicable to its use. If it is used, a report is made to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, even in the absence of an individual making a complaint. If it is ever suggested that the spray is used in circumstances that are inappropriate, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is in existence to investigate any complaint that may be received.

I thank the Minister. Good policing is about taking the heat out of potentially tense situations. This forms part of the Garda's training process. However, I would question whether having access to pepper spray assists that process. I hope it will be kept under ongoing review. Gardaí did not have access to pepper spray until 2008, yet I am sure the Minister would agree that the Garda Síochána was policing situations well prior to that time, including large events.

I draw the Minister's attention to cases of people being unhappy with policing, for example, at Rossport in County Mayo where citizens were engaging in political activity. Issues needed to be investigated. It is in the interests of good policing to monitor these situations closely. The less that facilities such as this spray are used, the better. Pepper spray has an effect on the person on whom it is used. The Minister must be vigilant in this regard.

Of course, the Deputy is ignoring the fact that, for many years, members of the Garda Síochána had the use of batons to protect themselves. Some people would be of the view that the use of pepper spray by a member of the force under attack is better than using a baton, in that the spray does not do any permanent damage or serious injury to a member of the community who is attacking a garda. Pepper spray is an alternative mechanism available to a member of the Garda Síochána.

If individuals are engaged in peaceful protest, they do not attack members of the Garda. If individuals do not attack members of the general community who are not engaged in whatever protest is taking place, there is no particular reason that batons or pepper spray would ever be used. However, it is important that members of the force have at their disposal the means to protect themselves when under attack. We have in this country some individuals who engage in protests, intend to incite violence and are themselves violent and have no sense of the fundamental rights of ordinary individuals going about their business. It is important that the Garda have available to it whatever is necessary to protect its members in those circumstances.

There are some individuals who would like to see anarchy on our streets. It is the job of the Garda Síochána to maintain law and order and to protect the wider community. I will support it in that context.

I seek clarification. Is it for each garda to decide when it is appropriate to use pepper spray? If a garda is on patrol by himself or herself, there is no one else from whom direction can be taken. Where there is a political protest and a superior officer is present, is it for the superior or each garda to decide on when to deploy the spray?

That is an operational matter and depends on the circumstances that arise.

Prisoner Releases

Derek Keating

Question:

Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views that it is necessary to amend the Charities Act to have all charities publish detailed accounts when they are in receipt of money from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16207/12]

The Deputy can be assured that the Irish Prison Service is conscious of the harmful, potentially devastating, consequences of crime on victims. The service acknowledges that the impact of crime on victims varies in nature and force and the service seeks to take account of their experiences and needs. Where victims make their views known to the service, they are always taken into consideration when making sentence management decisions, such as granting temporary release. While it is, of course, appropriate that the sensitivities and concerns of victims of crime should be carefully considered, a balance must also be struck with other sometimes conflicting factors, such as the rehabilitation of offenders and their reintegration into the community.

When victims of crime request it, the Prison Service victim liaison officer will enter into direct contact with them to inform them of any significant development in the management of the perpetrator's sentence as well as any impending release. Such significant developments could include temporary releases, parole board hearings, prison transfers and expected release dates. The victim liaison officer will also provide victims with general information on the prison system, such as the prison regime, remission on sentences and our system of parole, including the operation of the Parole Board. This is, however, a voluntary service and it is for the victim or an immediate family member in the case of a person who has died as a result of a crime to chose if he or she wishes to obtain information about a prisoner. I should also say that, for very understandable reasons, many victims do not want any further contact after the court process is finished.

Details of the victim liaison service are available on the Irish Prison Service website.

Victims or immediate family members may register for the service by writing to the victim liaison officer at Prison Service headquarters in Longford. As part of the redevelopment of the Irish Prison Service website, a facility to allow victims to register online is also being developed and will be available in the coming weeks.

Finally, there is a commitment in the programme for Government regarding the introduction of a Bill to detail in law the protections available to victims of crime. Developments in the European Union may result in a victims of crime measure that will apply across all member states. If such a measure is directly applicable we will not be obliged to publish our own legislation. It is likely that legislation to go hand in hand with this measure will be produced and that it will address issues relating to victims in the context of prescribing their rights and entitlements in respect of the information which should be made available to them.

When Michael Donnellan appeared before the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on the Loughan House issue, he also spoke about the process whereby victims can opt in to be kept informed about developments. We suggested that the process should involve an opt-out facility because, first, not many people are aware of the service and, second, victims may not want to pursue this route in the aftermath of a crime or court case and as time goes on they will forget about it or it will not remain a priority. If they are required to opt out from being kept informed, however, they would have to think about it.

I am thinking in particular of the new pilot scheme. Were victims' families informed that the 130 prisoners on the pilot scheme were in a community or providing a service?

The Deputy can take it for granted that I will make it a priority. He may be aware that I published the Victims' Rights Bill 2002, which the then Fianna Fáil Government voted down. When I published an updated version of the Bill in 2008 to take account of legal developments in the intervening period, the former Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, went to war with it on the basis that it reflected successful provisions that were already in existence in New Zealand, even though I had previously briefed him that it did reflect some provisions that were already successfully operating in New Zealand.

I have for many years been committed to the enactment of victims' rights legislation. The Department had begun work on this issue when the European Union proposal was published. We are waiting to see how that proposal develops. It is likely to be discussed at a meeting of European Ministers for Justice, if not in June then certainly next September, as progress is made. It is not yet clear whether domestic legislation will be needed if it is enacted across Europe or if it will simply be directly applicable. It may be the case that we will want domestic add-ons that Europe does not require but which would be to the benefit of victims. That is an issue we will address if need be. It will be a priority during the Irish Presidency.

I will not get involved in the Minister's spats with the former Minister, Dermot Ahern. Can the Minister comment on the opt-out or opt-in facility and whether victims' families were kept informed during the pilot programme for temporary release?

They would only have been kept informed during the pilot project if they opted in and, I assume, the convicted person was engaged in community service in their local community. I can seek further information for the Deputy in so far as it is available.

On the question of opt-in or opt-out, the balance of convenience suggests an opt-in provision for a range of reasons. A substantial amount of the crime that goes through the District Court is of a minor nature. Individuals would not necessarily want to receive phone calls a few months afterwards to give them minor pieces of information about the offenders. They want to get on with their lives. Such a provision would also become very resource intensive if, in the context of every conviction of every individual, it was assumed that victims who did not even look for information or did not want it should be given minor pieces of information. There is an advantage in having an opt-in provision.

However, for certain crimes, such as the one which gave rise to the tragic death of Garda McLoughlin, we are looking at putting in place a provision whereby the survivors of any person who lost his or her life in similar circumstances would automatically be informed when an event occurs which could result in someone being released, for example, to perform community service in a local community or go to an open prison near where the family concerned resides. The balance of advantage in a broad range of crimes supports an opt-in provision but it is important that victims are made aware of the fact that they can opt in and that the facility is available. We are investigating what steps may be taken to ensure there is sufficiently wide knowledge of this. I have some concern that not all victims are aware of the capacity to opt in to receive information.

Liquor Licensing Laws

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

79Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the outcome of the consultation process on the sale of alcohol from retail outlets undertaken by his Department; if he has made any decision on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22646/12]

I presume this question was not tabled from a European perspective. The public consultation process elicited a broad range of views on the display and sale of alcohol in supermarkets, convenience stores and similar mixed trading outlets. Looking to the future, there appear to be three main options.

The first option is continuation of the existing voluntary code of practice. The current voluntary code of practice was agreed by the previous Government. A new body, Responsible Retailing of Alcohol in Ireland Limited or RRAI, was established by the mixed trading sector to oversee its implementation and Mr. Padraic White was appointed as its independent chairperson. Mr. White's compliance report for 2011 shows levels of compliance which are broadly similar to those in previous years, with 95% for supermarkets and 79% for convenience stores. While the RRAI code has improved conditions for the display and sale of alcohol products in many mixed trading outlets, public health bodies and other licensed trade bodies have called in their submissions for commencement of section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008.

The second option is to commence section 9 of the 2008 Act. Section 9 requires that the display and sale of alcohol is confined to an area that is separated

from the rest of the premises by a wall or similar barrier; access to this part can only be gained from the rest of the premises through a door, gate, turnstile or similar means of access; and the only place that customers can pay for alcohol is at a counter or point of sale within this separated part of the premises. The only permitted alternative is to confine the display and sale of alcohol other than wine to a part of the premises to which the public does not have access, such as an area behind a counter. Implementation of section 9 would require alterations in the design and layout of premises. While large supermarkets could undoubtedly accommodate themselves to the new requirements without undue difficulty, small and medium sized outlets would inevitably encounter practical difficulties and face higher adaptation costs.

The third alternative is a statutory code of practice under section 17 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 2011, which we enacted last summer. Section 17 of the 2011 Act provides for statutory codes of practice. A breach of such a code will not of itself render a licensee liable to any civil or criminal proceedings but it provides a ground on which an objection may be lodged in the District Court to renewal of the licensee's licence. Where an objection is lodged, the licensee will be faced with the inconvenience and cost of District Court proceedings prior to renewal of the licence.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.

In conclusion, I can state that I am not in favour of retaining the current RRAI voluntary Code. The choice therefore lies between section 9 of the 2008 Act or a statutory code under section 17 of the 2011 Act. I expect to be in a position to seek Government approval for proposals regarding future arrangements in the coming weeks.

I commend Mr. White on the detailed report he has produced for RRAI. I agree with the Minister regarding section 9 of the 2008 Act and its impact on small and medium enterprises. However, certain companies can afford the changes required under the section and these companies are probably the cause of problems in this area. Has consideration been given to the segregation of section 9 according to size of retail premises?

Has the Minister entered discussions with the Minister for Health or the Chair of the Joint Committee on Health and Children in regard to the work that the committee and the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Shortall, have been doing in the area of alcohol?

The Minister of State, Deputy Shortall, and I have held discussions on how we should proceed with regard to this area. While I join the Deputy in praising Mr. White for the work he is doing, I am not in favour of retaining the current voluntary code. We need to do better than that. The choice therefore lies between section 9 or some variant of it, as the Deputy is suggesting, or the statutory code under section 17 of the 2011 Act. I expect to be in a position to seek Government approval for proposals regarding future arrangements in the coming weeks. They are the subject of internal discussions as to how best to proceed.

I am aware of two particular issues we must address. We must try to ensure that we do what is necessary to "de-normalise", if I could put it that way, the purchase of alcohol by young people. We must bring to an end some of the commercial inducements in place that encourage people to purchase and perhaps drink more alcohol than is wise. For example, there are offers to pay for six cans of beer and get another six for free and other inducements. On the other side of the coin, I am also aware that in what is currently a difficult business environment for SMEs, some mixed stores are dependent on alcohol sales and other sales to maintain a reasonable livelihood. Alcohol is purchased as a normal item by many individuals in the community. Many of those stores would not have the financial capacity to restructure in a manner that section 9 envisages. If they had to obtain loans for such restructuring, it would put them under some difficulty. There are balances we need to maintain and we are giving consideration to that in the current deliberations.

Is there any timeframe on the considerations? We are approaching the summer and also a sporting event which tends to inspire many of the so-called offers to which the Minister referred. Will those proposals be in place for that event? I hardly think so.

Many different sporting events seem to inspire many of us to drink alcohol, but not everyone does it excessively. The sporting event to which the Deputy refers may be the European Football Championship, which is taking place in June. I wish the Irish team and its manager Mr. Trapattoni well. I hope we will be able to open a bottle of something - be it alcoholic or non-alcoholic - to celebrate a very successful adventure in Poland and Ukraine. I congratulate the members of the squad, which was announced yesterday.

Mental Health in Prisons

David Stanton

Question:

80Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 14 of 1 December 2011, the progress that has been made by the interdepartmental group examining the issue of persons with mental illness entering the criminal justice system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22665/12]

The Department of Health and I announced the establishment of an interdepartmental group charged with examining issues relating to people with mental illness or a mental disorder interacting with the criminal justice system and its agencies. The interdepartmental group includes representatives from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Health, and relevant services including the Health Service Executive with separate representation from the National Forensic Mental Health Service, the Garda Síochána and the Irish Prison Service. It is jointly chaired by both Departments.

While work is ongoing, I understand that a list of issues that have given rise to concerns have been identified by the group. These issues relate to when a person with a mental health issue comes into contact with the criminal justice system. A number of subgroups have been established to examine these specific issues in more detail and they are to report back to the main group.

Submissions were also sought to assist the group identify the key issues and make recommendations on the interaction between the mentally ill and the criminal justice system. To date, ten submissions have been received and are currently being considered. The group is to report back by the middle of this year.

I thank the Minister of State for the progress made in the matter. How many prisoners are still on waiting lists to be moved to the Central Mental Hospital? If the Minister of State does not have the information to hand she might get it to me later.

I do not have that specific information but will ensure the Deputy gets it. I am aware he has a particular interest in the area. A new central mental hospital, which is being designed at present, will be of enormous benefit. As he will know, the Central Mental Hospital performs a unique service regarding the mental health of people who come before the courts. We cannot continue to have people, who have difficulty with their mental health, being detained in our jails rather than in a more appropriate setting.