Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of armed support unit raids there have been on family homes and dwellings in each of the years since 2015 to date. [48899/21]
350. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of ASU warranted searches there have been on family homes and dwellings in each year since 2015. [48907/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 348 and 350 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that Garda personnel engaging in the performance of operational searches of dwellings on behalf of An Garda Síochána with the objective of combatting criminality are required to fully comply with legislative powers, human rights considerations and organisational policy in this area.
I am informed by An Garda Síochána that Regional Armed Support Units do not engage in 'standalone' operations but are deployed as a specialist resource in support of National and/or Divisional Units performing operational searches.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Regional Armed Support Units consist of Garda personnel who are highly trained and experienced in specialised tactics and operational deployment in the area of method of entry, hostage & barricade management and in the use of both lethal and less-lethal firearms in order to combat any threat arising from the use of force or firearms during such operations.
I am advised that operational requisitions submitted to Regional Armed Support Units are considered and assessed in line with operational procedures, in respect of the threat and risk posed to unarmed Garda personnel and members of the public during the performance of such operations. I am further advised that each operational requisition is assessed on its merits by utilising the Garda Decision Making Model, in line with adhering to policy, legal, human rights and ethical considerations, on a case by case basis prior to deployment of Regional Armed Support Units being sanctioned.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that data in respect of operational search activity relating to ‘family homes or dwellings’ is not collated in the manner prescribed in the Deputy's questions.