Garda Transport Provision

Questions (552)

Seán Kenny

Question:

552. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality of the 213 Garda vehicles purchased in 2012, the number of that were marked Garda cars, unmarked Garda cars and marked Garda vans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8352/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Decisions in relation to the provision and deployment of Garda transport are matters for the Garda Commissioner.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the information requested by the Deputy is as shown in the following table:

Patrol Vehicles

Patrol Vehicles

Vans

Motorbikes

Total

Marked

Unmarked

Marked

Marked

-

183

20

5

5

213

As the Deputy will be aware, I made an additional €3 million available to An Garda Síochána towards the end of last year which enabled the Force to procure the total of 213 vehicles in 2012. In addition, a further allocation of €5 million has been provided for the purchase and fit-out of Garda transport in 2013. This represents a very considerable financial investment in Garda transport, particularly at a time when the level of funding available across the public sector is severely limited. It is a clear indication of my commitment to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, An Garda Síochána are provided with sufficient resources to enable them to provide an effective and efficient policing service.

Garda Equipment

Questions (553)

Seán Kenny

Question:

553. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost of the repairs to Garda mountain bikes for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; his plans to purchase new bikes in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8353/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The provision and allocation of Garda resources, including mountain bikes, is a matter for the Garda Commissioner in the context of his identified operational requirements. In addition, the Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the cost of repairing mountain bikes is not compiled centrally and, accordingly, the level of annual Garda expenditure on this service is not readily available. They further advise that the extraction of the relevant data would require a disproportionate amount of Garda resources.

I am also informed that the existing mountain bike stock is considered sufficient to meet policing requirements and that, while there are currently no plans to increase the number of such bikes in 2013, the position is being kept under on-going review.

Garda Resources

Questions (554)

Seán Kenny

Question:

554. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to increase the number of horses in the Garda Mounted Unit; the number of horses that retired in 2012; the number that are due to retire in 2013; the date the unit last received a new horse; the cost of the unit for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8354/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The provision and deployment of Garda resources, including specialist units, is a matter for the Garda Commissioner.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that there are currently 14 horses attached to the Garda Mounted Unit. Two horses were retired in 2012 and one is due to retire in 2013. The Unit last acquired a new horse in October 2012.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the cost of the Garda Mounted Unit for the years requested by the Deputy is provided in the following table:

Year

2009

2010

2011

2012

Cost

€1,451,639

€1,144,529

€1,178,183

€1,081,767

I am also advised by the Garda authorities that the operational requirements arising in relation to the Garda Mounted Unit will continue to be kept under on-going review.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Questions (555)

Finian McGrath

Question:

555. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will support a plan of action to deal with the anti-social activity (details supplied) in the Dublin 5 area. [8359/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities on the matters raised by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly when the report is to hand.

Garda Stations Closures

Questions (556)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

556. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality in view of the statement by the General Secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors that criminals have told the Garda that they are now targeting rural areas because there is no chance of meeting a garda, if he will re-consider his recent decision to close down Garda stations and re-open them without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8362/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Commissioner's Policing Plan for 2013, which I laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 5th December 2012, sets out details of the closure of 100 Garda stations throughout the country. 95 of these stations closed on 31 January and the remaining five will close in the coming months. I fully agree with the Commissioner's recommendations and there are no plans to change these decisions.

The Garda Commissioner has stated that the revised structures will continue to support the Garda community policing philosophy through the clustering of services at policing hubs. This centralisation of services will facilitate the introduction of enhanced patrolling arrangements which, in turn, will provide increased Garda visibility as well as maintaining existing Garda links with communities throughout the country. The objective will be to ensure that the best possible policing service will continue to be provided to our communities. The Garda Commissioner has also advised that closure of stations will result in some additional 61,000 patrolling hours being available for operational policing.

Garda Resources

Questions (557)

Pat Breen

Question:

557. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on the provision of a service (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8365/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Decisions in relation to the deployment of Garda resources are a matter for the Garda Commissioner.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that a mobile Garda clinic is currently operating in the Broadford area on a trial basis and that details of the service have been circulated within the local community.

I am also advised that arrangements are being made for the conversion of a number of Garda vans to act as mobile Garda offices and these mobile facilities will be brought into operation as quickly as possible.

Garda management closely monitors the allocation of all policing resources and operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure that the optimum use is made of available resources and that the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the needs of the Clare Division will continue to be fully considered in this context.

Marriages of Convenience

Questions (558)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

558. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he intends to address the issue of marriages of convenience by way of legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8406/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Marriage of convenience is a persistent problem and there is no single remedy, either legislative or administrative. The constitutional protection afforded to the institution of marriage makes the possibility of effective criminal sanctions highly problematic. However it is intended, in the Immigration Residence and Protection Bill, which I hope to republish later this year, to make a number of provisions that would make it more difficult for persons engaging in a marriage of convenience to benefit from it in immigration terms. My colleague, the Minister for Social Protection, is likewise in the process of looking at possible changes to the Civil Registration Act in order to make such marriages more difficult to contract. These legislative steps should contribute to reducing the incentive to seek to engage in such marriages.

Residency Permits

Questions (559)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

559. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress made to date in the determination of an application for permission to remain the State in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8407/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that an application from the person concerned for residence in the State on the sole basis of her marriage to an Irish national is currently under consideration.

Applications are dealt with in chronological order and I understand that INIS has recently issued a positive decision in this case.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Strength

Questions (560)

Joe McHugh

Question:

560. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the personnel strength of the Donegal Division of An Garda Síochána that obtained on 31 December in each of the years 2002-2012; if he will declare the distributions by station and District that obtained in the pertinent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8416/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel strength of each Garda Station in the Donegal Garda Division on 31 December 2002 - 31 December 2012 was as set out in the table below.

The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of demographics, 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.

District/Station

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Letterkenny

92

101

94

97

119

129

132

123

114

104

107

Carrigans

8

7

6

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Castlefin

4

4

4

3

3

4

4

4

4

4

4

Brocach

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Newtowncunningham

3

3

3

3

2

2

4

4

4

3

2

Raphoe

7

6

4

6

4

4

4

4

2

3

4

Lifford

15

17

15

14

15

15

13

13

16

17

15

Ballybofey

24

23

24

21

21

22

25

23

25

24

23

Convoy

4

4

3

3

3

4

3

4

4

3

3

Buncrana

34

35

38

41

51

48

50

49

57

50

53

Burnfoot

18

15

13

11

12

14

15

15

5

6

6

Carndonagh

5

4

5

6

5

6

5

5

3

4

3

Clonmanny

3

3

3

3

2

2

1

1

1

2

2

Malin

3

3

3

2

3

7

5

4

4

3

1

Culdaff

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

Moville

9

9

8

9

9

9

10

6

6

7

4

Muff

4

4

4

6

4

3

4

4

4

4

3

Milford

20

23

23

23

24

27

31

28

27

27

26

Carrigart

3

3

2

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

2

Kerrykeel

3

3

2

2

2

3

3

4

4

4

4

Kilmacrennan

2

2

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

Churchill

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Dunfanaghy

2

3

4

3

4

4

4

3

3

2

2

Craosloch

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Falcarragh

6

6

6

7

6

6

6

9

8

9

9

Ramelton

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

2

2

Rathmullen

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

Glenties

21

24

24

21

22

27

28

26

29

25

19

Annagry

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

Ardara

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

2

Bunbeag

5

6

6

6

7

8

7

8

11

15

14

Burtonport

2

2

2

3

1

2

2

2

1

1

1

Clougher

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Doochary

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Closed

Dungloe

6

5

6

7

9

8

11

12

9

8

12

Carrick

2

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Gleann Cholmcille

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Ballyshannon

31

32

33

34

36

35

35

35

47

47

45

Ballintra

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

Bundoran

12

11

11

12

12

12

12

10

8

6

6

Donegal Town

34

34

43

34

32

34

34

37

34

33

32

Pettigo

4

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

Closed

Dunkineely

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

Closed

Na Cealla Beaga

6

7

8

7

7

7

6

6

6

6

6

Mountcharles

3

3

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

Total

416

424

412

417

448

476

488

468

486

444

427

Road Safety Statistics

Questions (561)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

561. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has received a breakdown per month and by district of the Garda statistics on the number of drivers that were and were not breath-tested after their involvement in a serious road collision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8419/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The most recent and full set of figures for 2013 in relation to the matter referred to, received by me from the Garda authorities, were set out in my response to the Deputy on 7 February, 2013 as set out below.

As I indicated in my response to the Deputy on 13 January, to be of assistance, I have sought and received a full year set of figures for 2012 insofar as the Deputy's query is concerned.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that between 1 January, 2012 and 31 December, 2012, there were 208 drivers recorded as being involved in a fatal collision and 403 in a serious injury collision. The following table illustrates the number of drivers who provided a preliminary breath sample at the scene of a fatal or serious injury collision during that period.

-

Fatal Collision

Serious Injury Collision

Total no. drivers

208

403

Total no. drivers provided a preliminary breath sample at collision scene

80

144

I am further informed that analysis of incidents recorded show that 128 drivers involved in a fatal collision and 259 drivers involved in a serious injury collision were not tested at the roadside for a number of reasons. The following table sets out the reasons a preliminary breath sample was not taken at the roadside at the scene of a fatal or serious injury during the period 1 January, 2012 and 31 December, 2012.

Reason preliminary breath sample not taken at roadside

Fatal Collision

Serious Injury Collision

Driver deceased

74

-

Driver taken to hospital

35

136

Garda opinion - testing not required

9

52

Medical grounds

4

36

Insufficient time / Collision reported at Garda station

2

5

Serious injury of driver

1

12

Hit and run collision

1

6

Gardaí unable to ascertain driver identity

1

0

Sample to be taken at hospital

1

4

Sample to be taken at Garda station

0

3

No screening device available within allowed time (1 hour)

0

3

Scene of collision not a public place

0

1

Collision not investigated at scene

0

1

Total no. drivers who did not provide a preliminary breath sample at collision scene

128

259

I am advised that in respect of those drivers recorded as being involved in a fatal collision who were not tested at the scene of the collision, 14 drivers subsequently provided a blood/urine sample at the hospital and 3 drivers subsequently provided a sample at a Garda station. In total, 93 drivers are recorded as being tested either at the roadside, hospital, or Garda station.

I am also advised that in respect of those drivers recorded as being involved in a serious injury collision that were not tested at the scene of the collision, 48 drivers subsequently provided a blood/urine sample at the hospital and 10 drivers subsequently provided a sample at a Garda station. In total, 200 drivers were recorded as being tested either at the roadside, hospital or Garda station.

I am further advised by the Garda authorities that each collision can have a very contrasting set of circumstances and the preservation of life is paramount. In that regard, instructions have been issued to members of an Garda Síochána emphasising the mandatory requirement to breath test drivers at the scene of both fatal and serious injury collisions taking into account the particular circumstances arising in incidents of serious injury. I can also inform the Deputy that my colleague the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and I have since received assurances from the Garda authorities that every effort is being made to ensure the relevant legislative provisions are fully complied with. These measures include communication with all Garda members through a series of instructions and Directives from Garda Headquarters as well as Monthly Tactical Assessments by Garda management on the level of compliance.

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Issues

Questions (562)

Alan Farrell

Question:

562. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will outline Garda initiatives aimed at curbing criminals who move into an area and target vulnerable persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8426/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

While I am not clear from the Deputy's question what specific circumstances he has in mind, the Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner has established Operation Fiacla to confront the activities of those engaged in burglaries, and in particular mobile gangs who have been targeting particular localities including the homes of elderly and more vulnerable persons. Operation Fiacla is intelligence driven, and specific burglary initiatives have been implemented in each Garda Region to target suspect offenders. These initiatives optimise the use of existing structures and local Garda management ensure that all personnel are fully briefed on the initiative, with Divisional Crime Management Teams playing a key coordination and implementation role.

I am informed that as of 31 January 2013, 3,903 persons have been arrested and 2,142 persons have been charged with burglary offences under Operation Fiacla, showing that the Garda Commissioner is effectively deploying the substantial resources available to him in a targeted approach to confront those engaged in this form of criminality.

In addition to this specific operation, the Garda National Model of Community Policing plays a key part in responding to crime and is directed and supported each year by the Garda Síochána Annual Policing Plan. Each Garda District and Divisional Officer also configures its policing response to local conditions to ensure that an appropriate policing service is delivered to the area in question, whether it be a rural or urban one. Gardaí continue to work closely with communities to enhance community safety in a wide range of local fora, including the Joint Policing Committees, and through programmes such as Community Alert which operates in cooperation with the programme partners, Muintir na Tíre, and has led to the establishment of 1,345 Community Alert groups countrywide.

It is the Government's intention to ensure that frontline policing services are maintained at the highest level possible through the most efficient use of resources. The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is leading a programme of reform in support of this overall objective and he has my full support in this regard.

Upward Only Rent Reviews

Questions (563)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

563. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 469 of 22 January 2013, if he will share all analysis and data referred to excluding any legal advice, which his Department considered before deciding not to proceed with legislation to address the issue of upward only rent reviews; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8434/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The reply to Parliamentary Question No. 469 of 22 January 2013 did not refer explicitly to analysis or data. Nonetheless, in the interest of transparency, I am happy to give the Deputy some information on this point.

During the period of development of the proposed legislation regard was had to written and oral submissions and analytical data on the general issue of upward only rent reviews from a variety of sources. These included the Society of Chartered Surveyors, Jones Lang LaSalle, DKM Economic Consultants, Retail Ireland, Retail Excellence Ireland and the Irish Association of Investment Managers. Some of the views referred to were published by the organisation concerned. In a very limited number of cases views were made available to me on a confidential basis, and I have no plans to put the latter into the public domain. Also borne in mind was the content of the considerable volume of correspondence received from individuals and businesses who generally espoused the views of the retail sector. Additionally, my Department had available to it an economic analysis of possible policy options in relation to the proposal to abolish upward only rent review clauses in existing leases which had been prepared by the Department of Finance and which formed part of the deliberative process in the context of the Government's consideration of the matter.