137. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount An Garda Síochána spent on the replacement of Garda batons for the public order units in 2017, 2018 and to date in the 2019, in tabular form; the length of the batons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22313/19] View answer
As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda resources are for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
I have asked the Garda Commissioner for information in relation to the matter raised and when it is received I will write directly to the Deputy.
The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
I refer to Parliamentary Question No. 137 for answer on 28 May 2019 in which the Deputy asked the amount An Garda Síochána spent on the replacement of Garda batons for the Public Order Unit in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and the length of the batons.
The Deputy will recall that the information could not be obtained in the time available and I undertook to consult with An Garda Síochána and contact him again when the information was available.
The Deputy will be aware that there has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.
An allocation of €1.76 billion has been provided by Government to An Garda Síochána for 2019 as well as Capital Investment amounting to €92 million this year. As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Furthermore, the allocation of Garda resources, including equipment and specialist equipment is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
In line with the recommendation in the Garda Síochána Inspectorate’s 2007 report "Review of Practices and Procedures for Barricade Incidents", all Garda members are issued with incapacitant spray (i.e. pepper spray) and an ASP baton while other forms of less lethal weapons, including tasers and bean bag shots, are available to Garda specialist units.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the length of the Baton used by the Public Order Unit is 26 inches.
I am further informed that expenditure of €10,575 was incurred by An Garda Síochána for the purchase of public order batons in 2017 and €2,075 was incurred in 2018. €3,890 has been spent by An Garda Síochána for the purchase of public order batons this year as at 13 June 2019.
I trust this information is of assistance.