Check Against Delivery

                                                                                     Minister Charlie Flanagan T.D. speaking on the issue of Transport Policing

Seanad Commencement Matter

Wednesday, 11 July 2018.

 

 

 

Cathaoirleach,

 

I am pleased to be here today to take this Seanad Commencement Matter and I would like to thank the Senator for raising this very important issue.

 

At the outset, I understand that the Senator is referring to the deployment of Gardaí on our transport infrastructure. I must advise the Senator that the allocation of Garda resources, including personnel, is solely a matter for the Garda Commissioner and his management team and I have no role in this regard. I have, however, brought the Senator’s concerns to the attention of An Garda Síochána for their consideration and any action deemed necessary.

 

In terms of tackling this particular form of crime, I am advised by An Garda Síochána that Garda management engages extensively with transport operators and a range of regional and local operations have been put in place to address incidents and issues that have arisen at specific locations.  There is ongoing communication between An Garda Síochána and the respective control centres, and access to good quality CCTV helps to provide assistance to Gardaí when investigating serious incidents, such as what we saw in Clongriffin recently.

 

Furthermore, the Senator will be aware that An Garda Síochána already employ a wide range of operational measures aimed at tackling public-order offences and anti-social behaviour. These measures are underpinned by the existence of a comprehensive legal framework, which assists the Gardaí in tackling this type of crime. Of course, addressing local community concerns in relation to public order and anti-social behaviour is a key focus in An Garda Síochána's National Community Policing Model and a range of strong legislative provisions are available to An Garda Síochána in this regard, including those under:

 

-           the Criminal Damage Act 1991;

-           Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994;

-           the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2003; and

-           the Intoxicating Liquor Acts 2003 and 2008.

 

For its part, the Government remains committed to ensuring that An Garda Síochána have all the necessary resources to tackle all forms of criminality in our communities. In this context, the Senator will be aware that some €1.65 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2018 and €98.5m has been provided for Garda overtime for 2018, which will also assist with Garda operations to tackle these particular issues.

 

The Government is also committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime.  Budget 2018 will support the continuation of this high level of investment in the Garda workforce and ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track.