Dáil Éireann - Volume 362 - 10 December, 1985

Written Answers. - Finglas (Dublin) Garda Station.

162. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Justice the staffing levels of all ranks at Finglas Garda station prior to the introduction of the pilot neighbourhood watch scheme; the levels following the introduction of the scheme; the present levels; if he is satisfied that present levels are adequate to maintain the close Garda community relationship required; when he proposes to increase the number of garda in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Justice (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): As I indicated in my replies to Question No. 729 on 2 May 1984 and Question No. 82 on 10 July 1985, it is not the practice to allocate a specific proportion of Garda resources in any area to the neighbourhood watch scheme, which is essentially a network of public-spirited people who observe what is going on in their own neighbourhood and report suspicious or unusual happenings to the Garda.

The allocation of Garda manpower to individual stations is a matter for the Garda authorities, who review the strength assigned to the various stations from time to time to take account of changing needs and circumstances. Prior to the introduction of the pilot neighbourhood watch scheme in the Finglas area on 18 April 1984, the overall Garda strength at Finglas station was 61. Extra gardai were allocated to the station in August 1984 and since then, the strength has varied between 63 and 67. The current strength is 65 and I am informed by the Garda authorities that, having regard to overall resources and other demands on Garda services, they consider that this strength is adequate to meet the needs of the area, including the need to maintain good Garda-community relations. The Garda authorities have no proposals at present for allocating additional manpower to Finglas station but they are [1682] keeping the police needs of the area under review.