Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (494)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl


508 Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will respond to concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34401/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

The details referred to by the Deputy have also been sent to me and I will respond directly to the authors of the correspondence.

Notwithstanding this, the Deputy will be aware that under the Garda Síochána Acts 2005 — 2007, the Commissioner is required to submit, before November of each year, a policing plan for the forthcoming year. Any proposals for the closure of Garda stations or the altering of Regional or Divisional boundaries must be set out in that plan. While the Policing Plan for 2013 has not yet been submitted to me, I expect that it will contain measures to address the ongoing issue of rationalisation of the Garda station network. It would therefore be premature to speculate on specific measures which this might involve.

In making his assessments on these matters the Garda Commissioner has asked each Divisional Officer to assess the level of activity in each Garda Station in their area. It must be stressed that the key objective of any station closure is to promote the more efficient and effective deployment of resources rather than secure specific cash saving.

The Deputy will also be aware that the Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. Kildare Garda Division and indeed the area referred to by the Deputy will be subject to this same level of monitoring to ensure that optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.