Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (319)

Tony Gregory

Question:

460 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Question No. 200 of 30 September 2004, if he will request a report from the Garda authorities indicating if a person has been charged with the break-ins; if the Garda is satisfied there were no other persons involved in the spate of break-ins; if Garda patrols have been increased in this area; the number of gardaí now allocated to the areas; and if an explanation will be sought as to the reason that no gardaí responded to calls to Fitzgibbon Street Garda station from a householder in this area (details supplied) following a reported attempted break-in at their home on 10-11 October 2004. [25164/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that two persons have been charged in respect of three of the reported burglaries in the area and investigations are continuing into the remaining break-ins. The personnel strength of Fitzgibbon Street Garda station at 18 October 2004 is 177 — all ranks. Two dedicated community gardaí, with committed regular, detective and crime task force units, are allocated to patrol the area.

I understand from the Garda authorities that the number of Garda personnel assigned to Fitzgibbon Street, together with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy, are continually monitored and reviewed. Such monitoring ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the general public.

Local Garda management has established that, in the early hours of 10-11 October 2004, a householder on the road in question contacted Fitzgibbon Street Garda station to report an incident of criminal damage. The householder declined an offer made by gardaí to call to the residence at that time and said he would report the incident in person at the Garda station in the morning. At approximately 7.30 a.m., a resident at the address mentioned contacted the Garda at Fitzgibbon Street to report an apparent attempted break-in, the details of which were similar to the earlier reported incident. I understand from the Garda authorities that there was a misunderstanding between the occupant of the residence and the garda who received the call and, as a result, gardaí did not call to the residence as the occupant believed they would.

This matter was raised at a meeting between local Garda management and residents on 11 October 2004, and, consequently, an inspector from Fitzgibbon Street visited the residence and the occupant has accepted that the matter was a misunderstanding. The premises have been examined by scene of crime officers and the occupant will be kept informed of developments.