Dáil Éireann - Volume 374 - 28 October, 1987

Written Answers. - Garda Telephone Extensions.

[1566] 67. Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Justice the reason telephone extensions from Garda barracks to Garda private houses have been disconnected; and the total savings in this exercise.

Minister for Justice (Mr. Collins): The Garda national communications system, as well as providing a modern radio communications network for the Garda Síochána, is also providing the force with an improved and more cost-effective telephone system. Telephone extensions from Garda stations to official Garda living accommodation are being withdrawn as part of this process. These extensions were provided at stations which are open only for a limited time each day and they did not guarantee a Garda response to calls made by the public outside of normal station opening hours. The decision to withdraw these extensions was taken by the Garda authorities. The new Garda communications system incorporates a public access call facility at all stations which are not manned 24 hours per day. By means of this facility members of the public can have immediate direct contact, from any station which is closed, with the local Garda district headquarters station which is open round the clock. The public can also get Garda service at any time by telephoning their local district headquarters directly or by dialing “999” in case of emergency.

I am informed that savings amounting to £21,450 per annum will arise from the elimination of rental charges. It is expected that considerable additional savings will arise from the cessation of call charges but these cannot be accurately estimated at this time.