Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (526)

Michael Healy-Rae


526. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality in view of his statement that Gardaí now had vehicles which had been converted into mobile Garda offices, if he will explain the following, what exactly is a mobile Garda office; what type of vehicles are they; the number of them that are available; is it proposed to have some of these mobile Garda offices in County Kerry; if there is, how many of them; how much does it cost to change one of these Garda vehicles to a mobile Garda office; are they new or are they taken from the existing fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10261/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the deployment of Garda mobile offices is one of a set of measures being implemented by the Garda Commissioner to take account of the closure of certain Garda stations. In that context, the Deputy will appreciate that where stations have been closed a comprehensive set of revised structures has been put in place. In particular, the Garda authorities have emphasised that the Force will continue to support the relevant communities through the clustering of services in policing hubs. This centralisation facilitates enhanced patrolling arrangements which, in turn, provide increased Garda visibility as well as maintaining existing Garda links with communities.

With regard to the mobile office initiative, I understand from the Garda authorities that five new vans have been purchased for conversion to mobile offices. Arrangements are currently being made for the necessary conversion work which will result in the provision of a public area, counter and office facilities. In addition I understand that the mobile offices will be brought into service as quickly as possible.