Questions Nos. 751 to 756, inclusive, answered with Question No. 701.

Question No. 757 answered with Question No. 718.

Questions Nos. 758 to 762, inclusive, answered with Question No. 701.

Garda Data

Questions Nos. 764 and 765 answered with Question No. 692.

Question No. 766 answered with Question No. 763.

Question No. 767 answered with Question No. 707.

Questions (763, 766)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

763. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda retirements from each Garda station in County Mayo in each of the years from 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32585/19]

View answer

Lisa Chambers

Question:

766. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of serving gardaí, by rank, on career breaks, unpaid leave or special leave in each Garda station in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32589/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 763 and 766 together.

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána including personnel, and I, as Minister, have no role in the matter.

Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

The following table shows the number of Gardaí on unpaid leave as at 18/07/2019:

18/07/2019

Ballina

Castlebar

Belmullet

Ballyhaunis

Total

Career Break

1 Garda

1 Garda

2

Unpaid Maternity

1 Garda

1

Shorter Working Year

1 Garda

1 Garda

2

The following table outlines the number of members who retired on a voluntary, compulsory or a cost neutral early retirement basis from each Garda station in the Mayo Division from 2014 to 19th July, 2019.

2014

Rank

Station

Number of Retirees

Garda

BALLYHAUNIS

1

Sergeant

CASTLEBAR

1

Garda

BÉAL AN MHUIRTHEAD

1

Garda

SWINFORD

2

Garda

KILKELLY

1

Garda

KNOCK

1

Garda

WESTPORT

1

Garda

ACHILL SOUND

1

Total

9

2015

Rank

Station

Number of Retirees

Garda

SWINFORD

1

Garda

BALLINA

1

Garda

PARTRY

1

Total

3

2016

Rank

Station

Inspector

CASTLEBAR

1

Sergeant

BALLYHAUNIS

1

Garda

FOXFORD

1

Garda

SWINFORD

1

Garda

BANGOR ERRIS

1

Total

5

2017

Rank

Station

Number of Retirees

Garda

BALLINA

1

Sergeant

CASTLEBAR

1

Garda

BALLYCROY

1

Garda

KILKELLY

1

Total

4

2018

Rank

Station

Number of Retirees

Garda

CASTLEBAR

2

Garda

CROSSMOLINA

1

Garda

BANGOR ERRIS

1

Garda

BONNICONLON

1

Total

5

2019

Rank

Station

Number of Retirees

Garda

CLAREMORRIS

1

2019 Total to date

1

Overall Total from 2014-present

27

For information on the Garda Workforce please see the following link.

www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Garda_Workforce.

For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link

www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures.

Questions Nos. 764 and 765 answered with Question No. 692.
Question No. 766 answered with Question No. 763.
Question No. 767 answered with Question No. 707.

Northern Ireland

Questions (768)

Niall Collins

Question:

768. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the interaction of his Department with the four-person international oversight of paramilitaries established under the Fresh Start agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32620/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that the two Governments established the four person Independent Reporting Commission in order to facilitate monitoring of the implementation of the measures aimed at ending paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland, agreed under the Fresh Start Agreement.

The Commission’s functions are to:

- report annually (or on such further occasions as required) on progress towards ending continuing paramilitary activity connected with Northern Ireland;

- report on the implementation of the relevant measures of the three administrations – critical here will be the NI Executive’s Strategy to tackle paramilitary activity and associated criminality; and

- consult the UK Government and relevant law enforcement agencies, the Irish Government and relevant law enforcement agencies and, in Northern Ireland, the Executive, PSNI, statutory agencies, local councils, communities and civic society organisations.

The Commission has been actively engaged in carrying out its functions since its appointment, engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders, North and South, including with my Department. It published its first report in October 2018.

I informed the Deputy of my intention to meet with the Commission in response to question 26959/18 of 20 June last. I can confirm that I met the Commission on 26 June to hear further on its progress with its work. At that time, the Commission also met separately with the Garda Commissioner, the Director General of the Prison Service and the Criminal Assets Bureau.

I look forward to the Commission's second report which it is intended will be provided later this year.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Questions (769)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

769. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to review Part 11 or Part 13 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 on extending anti-social behaviour orders to social media usage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32622/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017 is a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by Deputy Brendan Howlin. The main provisions of the Bill as published include extending the existing offence of sending threatening or indecent messages to apply to all threatening, false, indecent and obscene messages using any form of online or traditional method of communications.

The Bill also proposes extending the existing offence of harassment as contained in section 10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 to include all forms of communication, including through online or digital communications to or about a person. The Bill will criminalise the distribution of intimate images without consent that causes harm, commonly known as “revenge pornography”.

The Bill completed second stage in the Dáil in January 2018 and was not opposed by Government. I obtained cabinet approval to support Deputy Howlin’s Bill to ensure that legislation in this area can be enacted as swiftly as possible. Draft amendments were prepared in my Department, in consultation with the sponsor of the Bill and cabinet approval was given to the drafting of those amendments on the 1st of May.

I believe that this new legislation will act as a strong deterrent to the abuse of social media usage and, as such, I do not intend to extend the antisocial behaviour orders contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2006 to social media usage.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Questions (770, 771, 772)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

770. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of juvenile good behaviour contracts issued in each of the years from 2007 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32623/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

771. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of juvenile anti-social behaviour orders issued in each of the years from 2007 to 2018 and to date in 2019 under Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32624/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

772. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of juvenile anti-social behaviour orders issued in each of the years from 2007 to 2018 and to date in 2019 under Part 13 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32625/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 770 to 772, inclusive, together.

The information sought by the Deputy has been provided by An Garda Síochána who have advised that Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 pertains to adult behaviour warnings and adult civil orders.

There were fewer than 10 adult civil orders issued per year from 2007 to 2018 and to date in 2019. Due to the potential for identification of individuals, this data cannot be itemised in more detail.

The following table shows adult behavioural warnings.

Year Reported

Behaviour Warnings (Adult) (I.S)

2007

149

2008

440

2009

579

2010

1,194

2011

843

2012

909

2013

877

2014

1,131

2015

1,010

2016

677

2017

1,212

2018

1,267

2019

445

Incident counts (crime counting rules not applied)

I am also advised by An Garda Síochána that Part 13 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 pertains to behaviour warnings, behaviour orders and good behaviour contracts issued to children.

There were fewer than 10 behaviour orders or good behaviour contracts issued per year from 2007 to 2018 and to date in 2019. Due to the possibility of individuals being identifiable, this data cannot be broken down further.

The following table shows behavioural warnings issued to children.

Year Reported

Behaviour Warnings (Children) (I.S)

2007

78

2008

539

2009

468

2010

613

2011

460

2012

332

2013

303

2014

238

2015

236

2016

211

2017

123

2018

123

2019

52

The above figures were collated based on PULSE data as of 1:30am on 17 July 2019. This data is operational, provisional and subject to change.

Drugs Crime

Questions (773, 774)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

773. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the quantity and value of illegal steroids and illegal performance enhancing drugs that have been seized in each of the years from 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32661/19]

View answer

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

774. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons convicted for importing or selling illegal steroids and performance enhancing drugs in each of the years from 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32665/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 773 and 774 together.

Information relating to the quantity and value of drugs seized by An Garda Síochána is set out in their Annual Reports, which are available on the Garda website (www.garda.ie). The information provided in the Annual Reports is prepared on the basis of records maintained by Forensic Science Ireland, based on the quantity of drugs analysed annually at its laboratory. Relevant information for 2019 is not yet available.

As indicated in previous replies on the matter, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is the Competent Authority for the implementation of EU and national legislation relating to medicines in Ireland. The role of the Authority, which comes under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Health, includes monitoring and inspecting products on the market to ensure their safety, efficacy and legality.

The Department of Health has advised that the HPRA do not class detained products by value other than where a prosecution has taken place, and in the years specified they detained the following quantities of anabolic steroid containing medicinal products:

Year

Total Anabolic Steroid Detentions

2019 *Jan to May

16,589

2018

98,054

2017

449,411

2016

109,006

2015

38,049

2014

20,752

2013

24,854

2012

12,872

2011

14,572

The Department of Health has further advised that a number of prosecutions have taken place, in particular since the beginning of 2018, following extensive investigations by the HPRA, in conjunction with the Revenue Customs Service, An Garda Síochána and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

The Courts Service has advised that courts statistics are not compiled in such a way as to provide the information sought regarding the number of persons convicted for importing or selling illegal steroids and illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Penalty Points System

Questions (775, 776, 777, 778)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

775. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the factors contributing to the disparity that exists between the number of persons convicted for speeding and the number of penalty points issued to licences; the number of points that could not be issued but for which a person was identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32698/19]

View answer

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

776. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has met the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport regarding a disparity that exists between the number of persons convicted for speeding and the number of penalty points issued to licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32699/19]

View answer

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

777. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has met with the Courts Service to discuss issues that have been identified regarding the issuing of points to licences; if the disparities between counties were discussed; and if he will report on those meetings. [32700/19]

View answer

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

778. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has considered a report on the number of convictions for speeding for which no penalty points are issued to licences. [32701/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 775 to 778, inclusive, together.

To clarify the disparity noted by the Deputy, a number of enforcement factors must be taken into account. Firstly, in relation to roadside intercept detections, members of An Garda Síochána can record the driving licence details obtained at the point of interception. This can ultimately be used to apply penalty points, should there be a conviction. Therefore, in such instances, the recording of a licence in court may not be necessary. However, an issue may still arise where the licence details are not obtained at the point of interception.

In the case of non-intercept speed camera detections, the registration of the vehicle is captured on detection. In the event that a driver does not pay his/her Fixed Charge Notice, and is subsequently convicted, his/her licence details should be recorded in court in accordance with section 33 of the Road Traffic Act 2016. Unfortunately, there are instances when the court is unable to record licence details, such as when licences are reported to the court as lost or forgotten, or, in more serious cases, persons are convicted of speeding while also driving without a licence. There is also a cohort of drivers, who wilfully choose not to attend court and are convicted in absentia. Again, there is no licence to record in these cases.

In cases where a licence is not provided, I understand that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has the facility, in certain instances, to look up the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) and successfully apply penalty points, based on exact matching against the offence's vehicle registration details.

We should, of course, keep in mind that approximately 95% of all penalty point offences are endorsed by the NVDF on driver licences every year and this is an exceptional rate of endorsement. Over 85% of penalty point offence records are received directly from An Garda Síochána when the offender opts to pay the fixed charge amount and accept the penalty points. The remainder are received from the Courts Service, following convictions.

The Criminal Justice (Fixed Charge Processing System (FCPS)) Working Group (chaired by officials from both my Department and DTTAS, and attended by the Courts Service) continues to monitor progress and relevant developments in the area of road traffic enforcement. In addition, I have asked my officials to meet with DTTAS and the Courts Service to discuss how the process of obtaining driver information upon conviction is currently operating under section 33 of the Road Traffic Act 2016.

The Master Licence Record (MLR) programme, established by DTTAS, is implementing further measures to assist in endorsement of penalty points by matching vehicle and driver records on the NVDF. This project will go some way to addressing the issue of 'unmatched offences' by matching vehicle and driver records on the NVDF, and, over time, by establishing owner identity for all vehicle records.

However, it is important to acknowledge that there will be always be complex scenarios when attempting to endorse driving licences in respect of road traffic offences; for example, instances where the vehicle owner is not driving at the time of an offence, or when an offending vehicle is owned by a company. I am informed by my colleague, Minister Ross, who has responsibility for road traffic legislation that, due to legislative and operational issues, full population of the MLR is likely to take several years.

A Criminal Justice (FCPS) Working Group progress report, highlighting the current status of ongoing recommendations (including the MLR programme), will be published by Minister Ross and I shortly.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to commend members of An Garda Síochána, especially those in the Roads Policing Units, for their continued dedication and commitment to road traffic enforcement. Over the last 12 months, there has been a concerted effort to detect offenders on our roads. Enforcement figures, discussed at the June Ministerial Committee on Road Safety chaired by Minister Ross and I, show that, in the 12 months from April 2018 to April 2019, there was a 12% increase in detections compared with the previous 12-month period. I believe this increase underscores the commitment of An Garda Síochána to make our roads a safer place for all road users.