Written Answers. - Garda Deployment.

Ivan Yates

Ceist:

817 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will provide a full-time Garda presence at a rural Garda barracks (details supplied) in County Wexford in view of the fact that it is some considerable distance from a major urban centre, would cover a substantial isolated rural area and provide better security for local residents. [1491/99]

The detailed deployment of Garda personnel to individual areas is a matter for the Garda authorities who have informed me that the personnel strength of the Garda station referred to in the Deputy's question as of 5 January 1999 is one garda.

The station is part of the community policing initiative with neighbourhood watch-community alert schemes operating within the area. It is situated ten miles from the district headquarters which is open 24 hours a day. When the garda in the station in question is not available, a member from the district headquarters opens the station. When the garda in the station is off-duty, calls are attended to by the district headquarters patrol car. A marked patrol van is also available which is utilised by the garda in the station concerned.

The Garda authorities have also informed me that the "Green Man" is in operation at the station and is linked to the district headquarters. The present opening hours of the station are 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Monday to Saturday – with the station remaining closed on Sunday. The personnel strength for the station is augmented from within the district as needs arise.

I am further informed by the Garda authorities that they are satisfied with the existing policing arrangements at the station and while is it not intended to increase the permanent personnel strength there at this time, every effort will be taken to ensure as much Garda attention as possible is afforded from existing district and divisional resources.