Garda Investigations

Questions (177)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

177. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the total number of times a Garda investigation has taken place into death by suspected negligence in a hospital setting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44941/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the information requested is not available in the format requested by the Deputy and that it would require a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources to compile it.

Penalty Points System

Questions (178)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

178. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 447 of 30 April 2013, if he will provide, for each month of this year to date in 2013, the number of motorists appearing in court charged with offences under the Road Traffic Acts incurring penalty points who avoided convictions because they agreed to make a donation to the court poor box. [44986/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The court poor box is a non-statutory system used mostly by the District Courts to impose a financial charge on a defendant to be used for a charitable purpose, usually instead of imposing a criminal conviction. Payments made to the court poor box are accounted for by the court office concerned and the accounting procedures are subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Generally, charities are the recipients of poor box contributions but the decision is solely at the discretion of the Judge who is independent in the matter of sentencing, as in other matters concerning the exercise of judicial functions, subject only to the Constitution and the law.

In order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the table below shows the number of defendants recorded on the Courts Service Criminal Case Tracking System (CCTS) who were before the court for offences under the Road Traffic Act incurring penalty points for each month of this year up to the end of August 2013 and the outcome of whose cases involved payments to the Court Poor Box. None of these people were convicted of the offences.

Month

Number of Defendants

January

183

February

157

March

96

April

166

May

177

June

141

July

129

August

0

TOTAL

1,049

Penalty Points System

Questions (179)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

179. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 447 of 30 April 2013, if the proposed reform cited by him in his reply in relation to the replacement of the poor box in courts with a statutory reparation fund has yet been initiated. [44987/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Work is at an advanced stage in my Department on the General Scheme of a Bill to replace the Probation of Offenders Act 1907 with modern provisions dealing with community sanctions, such as probation orders, and the role of the Probation Service in the criminal justice system. The Court Poor Box is also being examined in this context with a view to bringing forward proposals for a transparent statutory reparation scheme. I intend to bring proposals to Government on the matter as soon as possible, having regard to other legislative priorities.

Garda Operations

Questions (180)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

180. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on Garda Operation Spire; the number of persons arrested and charged to date as part of the operation; and the number of successful convictions obtained to date. [44993/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Spire began on 27 May 2013 and will remain in place until the end of 2013 when it will be reviewed and evaluated.

Operation Spire provides for a high visibility policing presence specifically on O'Connell Street at critical times to address anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and related crime. The area is patrolled by uniform patrols supplemented as required by Crime Prevention Unit and Divisional Crime Task Force personnel and additional resources are deployed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

As Operation Spire is designed as a preventative measure with the goal of providing a high visibility presence on the main thoroughfare in the city, no specific crime statistics are maintained in relation to the operation. However, I am advised that Garda figures for the year to date indicate that Public Order Offences for the Store Street Garda Sub-District are down by 22%.

Garda Deployment

Questions (181)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

181. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will instruct the Garda Commissioner to ensure that additional Garda patrols will be in place during Hallowe'en night in an area (details supplied) in Dublin 13. [44994/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda 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 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.

A policing plan for the Halloween period is in place throughout the Dublin Metropolitan Region, including the Coolock sub-district. This plan is designed to address all aspects associated with the policing of the period concerned including the prevention and detection of sale of fireworks, and anti-social behaviour. Local Management are satisfied that sufficient resources will be deployed during Halloween night in the area referred to and current policing policy in the area is predicated on the prevention of public order offences, the prevention of crime including crimes of violence against persons and property and the maintenance of an environment conducive to the improvement of quality of life of the residents of the area.

Garda Operations

Questions (182)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

182. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on whether any increased costs have been incurred from Garda resources as a result of additional policing required for the Arthur’s Day promotion since it first began a number of years ago; and if the promoters have been billed for any of the potential increased costs associated with policing for the event. [44995/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote. In that context, I am informed by the Garda authorities that while some additional costs have been incurred in respect of events linked to Arthur's Day the Garda operations involved were relatively small in scale.

I also understand that arrangements have been made for the recoupment of relevant costs in 2013. At this stage the details are being finalised and the matter is being actively pursued by the Garda authorities.