Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (687)

Noel Grealish

Question:

687. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice the number of bench warrants issued in 2019 and 2020; the number outstanding in this regard; the effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the execution of warrants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7397/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is responsible, by law, for the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the allocation of Garda resources, in light of identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no role in these matters.

In addition to supporting the pubic health regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, Gardaí have continued to execute warrants as expeditiously as possible, giving priority to the execution of warrants relating to serious crimes. As the Deputy will appreciate, difficulties in relation to the execution of warrants, including bench warrants, are a long-standing issue for many police services around the world; notably relating to persons actively seeking to evade detection, and where limited identification information might be available to support enforcement. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health restrictions have of course added to these longstanding difficulties, but An Garda Síochána are continuing to make every effort to serve as many warrants as possible.

The table below, furnished to me by the Garda authorities, shows the number of bench warrants issued and the number outstanding for the years in question.

Issue Year

Bench Warrants Issued

Nr. Outstanding

2019

38834

5999

2020

15682

4346

I am informed that these figures were based on collated data from the PULSE system as of 8 February 2021.

Question No. 688 answered with Question No. 629.