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Question

51. Deputy John Curran asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she is satisfied with the level of security and policing on the Luas red line; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15687/17]

Answer

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can assure the Deputy that, while I have no direct role in Garda strategies to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on public transport services in Dublin, I am in regular contact with the Garda Commissioner about all aspects of policing and community safety. The specific deployment of policing resources is a matter for the Garda authorities, as is the question on ongoing engagement and meetings with transport operators.
Insofar as the general approach to tackling these issues are concerned, I am advised that Garda management engages extensively with transport operators in the Dublin area and a range of regional and local operations have been put in place as required to address issues that have arisen at specific locations. Instances of crime and anti-social behaviour are monitored by local Garda management with the assistance of Garda Síochána Analysis Service, which results in periodic operations aimed at anti-social behaviour on and around public transport routes. I am further advised that there is effective communication with the respective control centres and that access to good quality CCTV has also been of great assistance in the investigation of complaints.
I can also inform the Deputy that there is a range of strong legislative provisions available to An Garda Síochána to combat anti-social behaviour generally, including provisions under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Acts, the Criminal Damage Act and the Intoxicating Liquor Acts. The powers available to Gardaí support them in addressing anti-social behaviours, including the prevention of nuisance or annoyance to others and forestalling damage to property or a breach of the peace. An Garda Síochána remains committed to tackling all types of public disorder and anti-social behaviour by working with communities to reduce this type of behaviour and enhance community safety.
Underpinning all of these measures is the Government's commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. The Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. In 2017, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Appointments will also be made to the Garda Reserve of approximately 300, and in this regard I was pleased to be able to launch a new recruitment campaign for Reserve members of An Garda Síochána last week.