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Question

120. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the savings from Garda Síochána station closures in the Kerry division since January 2011. [34880/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Garda District and Station Rationalisation Programme was implemented in An Garda Síochána during 2012 and 2013. The primary objective of the Programme was to identify opportunities to introduce strategic reforms to enhance service delivery, increase efficiency and streamline practices within the organisation. In its review of the Garda Station Network which informed the Programme, Garda management concluded in relation to certain stations that Garda resources could be better deployed and more effectively used on the front line if those stations no longer had to be staffed and maintained. In reaching these conclusions, Garda management reviewed all aspects of An Garda Síochána's policing model, including the deployment of personnel, the utilisation of modern technologies and the overall operation of Garda stations.
As part of the Programme, there were a total of twelve station closures in the Kerry Division in 2012 and 2013. There were no station closures during 2011. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the total estimated direct savings since 2011 on utilities and maintenance as a result of the closure of these stations is €108,000. This does not, of course, represent the full value of the Programme. The closures have allowed front line Garda to be managed and deployed with greater mobility, greater flexibility, and in a more focused fashion particularly with regard to various targeted police operations.
I am further informed that local Garda management closely monitors the allocation of all resources in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies, to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.