Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Questions (100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106)

Jack Wall

Question:

124 Mr. Wall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 432 of 16 May 2006, the number of additional Gardaí appointed to each of the stations in the Kildare and Carlow division over the past five years; the opening hours of each of these stations; the number of Gardaí in each station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43105/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice)

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,000 on Thursday, 16 November, 2006, following the attestation of 299 new members. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) as at 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,298 (or 21.5%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The induction of 280 new Garda recruits to the Garda College on 6 November, 2006 resulted in a combined strength, of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training, of 14,137. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.3 billion, a 13% increase on 2005 and an 85% increase since 1997 in real terms.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel strength (all ranks) of the Carlow/Kildare Division as at 31 December, 1997 and as at 12 December, 2006 was 281 and 367 respectively. This represents an increase of 86 (or 30.6%) in the number of Garda personnel assigned to the Carlow/Kildare Division during that period.

The personnel strength of each Garda Station in the Carlow/Kildare Division as at 31 December, 2001 and as 12 December, 2006 was as set out in the following table:

Carlow/Kildare

2001

12/12/06

+/-

District: Naas

Naas

76

91

+15

Celbridge

19

20

+1

Clane

6

7

+1

Kill

3

3

Maynooth

14

17

+3

District: Kildare

Kildare

29

32

+3

Robertstown

3

3

Kilcullen

3

3

Monasterevin

3

3

Newbridge

30

32

+2

Rathangan

2

2

Carbury

2

2

District: Carlow

Carlow

46

59

+13

Leighlinbridge

1

1

Ballon

1

1

Myshall

1

1

Muinebheag

7

7

Athy

18

19

+1

Castledermot

1

2

+1

District: Baltinglass

Baltinglass

23

24

+1

Blessington

14

18

+4

Dunlavin

1

1

Hollywood

1

1

Donard

1

1

Shillelagh

1

1

Tinahely

2

2

Hacketstown

2

2

Rathvilly

1

1

Ballymore Eustace

1

1

Tullow

8

9

+1

Ballytore

1

1

Total

321

367

+46

I am further informed that the official opening hours of each Garda Station in the Carlow/ Kildare Division are as set out in the following table:

Stations

Weekday Opening Hours

Sunday Opening Hours

Naas

24 Hours

24 Hours

Celbridge

10am-1pm 2pm-6pm 7pm-9pm

12 Midday-2pm

Clane

10am-1pm

12 Midday-2pm

Kill

10am-1pm

Not Open

Maynooth

10am-1pm 2pm-6pm 7pm-9pm

12 Midday-2pm

Kildare

24 Hour

24 Hour

Robertstown

Mon, Thur & Sat 3pm-6pm Tue, Wed & Fri 10am-1pm

Not Open

Kilcullen

Mon, Tue & Sat 3pm-6pm Tue, Wed & Fri 10am-1pm

Not Open

Monasterevin

Mon, Thur & Sat 3pm-6pm Tue, Wed & Fri 10am-1pm

Not Open

Newbridge

24 Hour

24 Hour

Rathangan

Mon, Thur & Sat 3pm-6pm Tue, Wed & Fri 10am-1pm

Not Open

Carbury

Mon, Thur & Sat 3pm-6pm Tue, Wed & Fri 10am-1pm

Not Open

Carlow

24 Hour

24 Hour

Leighlinbridge

10am-1pm

10am-1pm

Ballon

6pm-7.30pm

6pm-7.30pm

Myshall

10am-1pm

10am-1pm

Muinebheag

10am-1pm 6pm-8pm

10am-1pm 6pm-8pm

Athy

9am-10pm

9am-10pm

Castledermot

10am-1pm

Not Open

Baltinglass

24 Hour

24 Hour

Blessington

10am-1pm

11am-1pm

Dunlavin

3pm-5pm

3pm-5pm

Hollywood

8pm-10pm

8pm-10pm

Donard

11am-1pm

11am-1pm

Shillelagh

3pm-5pm

3pm-5pm

Tinahely

3pm-5pm

3pm-5pm

Hacketstown

11am-1pm

11am-1pm

Rathvilly

11am-1pm

11am-1pm

Ballymore Eustace

2pm-4pm

Not Open

Tullow

10am-1pm

11am-1pm

Ballytore

3pm-5pm

Not Open

Garda Management state that the opening hours as set out in the table are dependent on the availability and rostered tour of duty of the members attached to each station.

Enda Kenny

Question:

125 Mr. Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when an area (details supplied) in County Longford will have a full time Garda presence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43146/06]

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Paul McGrath

Question:

131 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Garda squad cars based at Ballymahon Garda Station, County Longford. [43316/06]

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Paul McGrath

Question:

132 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will confirm that Ballymahon Garda Station, County Longford has been downgraded and that normal Garda business for this station is handled from Athlone. [43317/06]

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Paul McGrath

Question:

133 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number and rank of Gardaí stationed at Ballymahon Garda Station in County Longford each year for each of the past 10 years. [43318/06]

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Paul McGrath

Question:

134 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will confirm that Ballymahon Garda Station, County Longford has very limited opening hours and that Gardaí attached to this Garda station are regularly deployed to Athlone Town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43319/06]

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I propose to take Questions Nos. 125 and 131 to 134, inclusive, together.

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,000 on Thursday, 16 November, 2006, following the attestation of 299 new members. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) as at 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,298 (or 21.5%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The induction of 280 new Garda recruits to the Garda College on 6 November, 2006 resulted in a combined strength, of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training, of 14,137. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.3 billion, a 13% increase on 2005 and an 85% increase since 1997 in real terms.

Local Garda Management report that Ballymahon Garda Station has not been downgraded. The personnel strength was augmented in May 2006 with the allocation of an additional Garda member to Ballymahon Garda Station.

I am further informed that the personnel strength (all ranks) of Ballymahon Garda Station as at 12 December, 2006 was 4. The personnel strength (all ranks) of Ballymahon Garda Station (by rank) from 1997 to the latest date for which figures are available was as set out in the following table:

Year

Total Strength

Sergeant

Garda

31/12/97

3

1

2

31/12/98

3

1

2

31/12/99

2

1

1

31/12/00

3

1

2

31/12/01

3

1

2

31/12/02

3

1

2

31/12/03

3

1

2

31/12/04

3

1

2

31/12/05

3

1

2

12/12/06

4

1

3

Ballymahon Garda Station forms part of the Athlone District. The personnel strength of the Athlone District as at 31st December 1997 and as at 12th December 2006 (all ranks) was 58 and 69 respectively. This represents an increase of 11 (or 18.9%) in the number of Gardaí allocated to the District since that date.

It is the responsibility of the Divisional Officer to allocate personnel within his/her Division. These personnel allocations are determined by a number of factors including demographics, crime trends, administrative functions and other operational policing needs. Such allocations are continually monitored and reviewed along with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy. This ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources, and that the best possible service is provided to the public.

The normal opening hours of Ballymahon Garda Station are as set out in the following table:

Tour

Time

Early

9am to 5pm

Late

2pm to 10pm

Night

6pm to 2am and 8pm to 4am weekends

The extension of the opening hours at individual Garda Stations is a matter for the Divisional Officer. Garda management advise that the extension of opening hours at any Garda Station necessitates the employment of additional personnel on indoor administrative duties and consequently a loss to outdoor operational policing.

Local Garda Management report that Ballymahon Garda Station has not been downgraded. The personnel strength was augmented in May 2006 with the allocation of an additional Garda member to Ballymahon Garda Station.

I am further informed that there is one car permanently assigned to Ballymahon Garda Station. Local Garda Management also report that they have introduced a patrol system whereby members from Ballymahon, Ballymore and Glasson provide a service to all three sub-districts with the use of the patrol car from Ballymahon. This system has proved to be very successful and provides a suitable Garda presence for the entire area.

Local Garda Management state that personnel attached to Ballymahon Garda Station are not deployed in Athlone, other than to attend District/Circuit Courts. Resources are augmented from within the District/Division as required. The area is also patrolled by the Divisional Traffic Unit based at Longford Garda Station and the District Detective Unit based at Athlone Garda Station.

Finian McGrath

Question:

126 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the extra policing measures that will be put in place in the surrounding residential areas following the opening up of Croke Park to extra matches in soccer and rugby; and if he will work with Dublin City Council on this matter. [43181/06]

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I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,000 on Thursday, 16 November, 2006, following the attestation of 299 new members. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) as at 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,298 (or 21.5%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The induction of 280 new Garda recruits to the Garda College on 6 November, 2006 resulted in a combined strength, of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training, of 14,137. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.3 billion, a 13% increase on 2005 and an 85% increase since 1997 in real terms.

I am further informed that the personnel strength of the Dublin Metropolitan Region North Central Garda Division as at 31st December 1997 and as at 12th December 2006 (all ranks) was 585 and 673 respectively. This represents an increase of 88 (or 15%) in the number of Gardaí allocated to the Division since that date.

The Garda Síochána is responsible for security, public order, and traffic control at major events. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of Gardaí assigned to police major sporting events, together with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy, is continually monitored and reviewed. Such monitoring ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible service is provided to the public.

Garda management state that during each major event in Croke Park specific operational plans and additional policing measures, including additional traffic management and enforcement and public order patrols are put in place in the surrounding areas. Issues of particular concern to local residents are specifically addressed as part of this planning process.

As is the case with regular fixtures at Croke Park, local Garda management work closely and maintain on-going liaison with Dublin City Council.

Garda management further state that relevant matters, including expected attendance, fan-base / patrons, as well as the teams involved, are taken into account when preparing the policing plans for each event. This will dictate the level of policing required for regular and additional fixtures to be held in Croke Park.