Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (200)

Frank Feighan

Question:

200. Deputy Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an assurance that any proposed amalgamation of Castlerea and Boyle Garda Districts will not affect existing resources in both districts and Roscommon/Longford Garda Division. [12282/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Policing Plan for 2013 sets out the Commissioner's proposals to amalgamate a number of Garda Districts, including the Castlerea and Boyle Districts, into one enlarged Castlerea District. The decision to amalgamate the relevant Districts follows on from a comprehensive review of current District structures carried out by the Garda authorities. This review was designed to identify strategic reforms which would lead to increased efficiencies, improved operational capacity and enhanced Garda service delivery. While no specific date has been set for the amalgamation of these Districts, it is expected that they will be amalgamated in the coming months.

The Garda 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.

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the total strength, as of the 31 January 2013 the latest date for which figures are readily available, of the Roscommon/Longford Division was 280 Gardaí, 17 Garda Reserves and 24 civilians, of which 32 and 26 Gardaí are assigned to the Castlerea and Boyle Garda Districts. Castlerea Garda Station will remain as district headquarters and will open to the public on a 24 hour basis. Boyle Garda Station will support Castlerea Garda Station and will continue to provide a 24 hour policing service. Boyle Garda station will be open to the public between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and as required. I am advised by the Garda authorities that, following the amalgamation, a full and comprehensive policing service will continue to be delivered to the communities concerned.