Written Answers. - Cash Escorts.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

137 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the number of occasions in each of the past three years on which security has been provided for banks transferring cash by road; the costs of such security to the Exchequer; the amounts received from the financial institutions in lieu of such services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19128/03]

The roles of the Defence Forces as assigned by Government are set out in the White Paper on Defence which was published in February 2000. To aid the civil power, meaning in practice to assist, when requested, the Garda Siochána which has the primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State, is among the assigned roles. The Defence Forces, pursuant to their role of rendering aid to the civil power, assist the Garda as required in duties which include the escorts of cash in transit. Each cash escort would include deliveries to banks, post offices and other institutions.

Statistical records compiled by my Department do not differentiate between banks, post offices and other institutions. The number of requests for cash escorts received by the military authorities from the Garda for the years 2000 to 2002 was as follows: 2000, 2,285; 2001, 2,488; 2002, 2,516.

The total cost in respect of the provision by the Defence Forces of assistance to the Garda Síochána in protecting movements of cash for the years 2000 to 2002, including pay, allowances, transport and aerial surveillance, was as follows: 2000, £4.7 million (€5.97 million); 2001, €6.58; 2002, €6.85.
Part of these costs are recouped from the banks through an annual contribution. A sum of €2.86 million has been refunded by the banks to my Department each year since 1995.