Dáil Éireann - Volume 503 - 20 April, 1999
Written Answers. - Garda Stations.
Mr. Kenny Mr. Kenny
497. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the action, if any, taken arising from a number of break-ins and vandalism in the Ballinrobe area recently; his views on whether the Garda station should be opened on a 24 hour basis in view of the expansion of the town and its strategic location; the discussions, if any, he has had with the Commissioner of the Garda in relation to the future of the Garda pilot programme in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10255/99]
Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The detailed allocation of Garda personnel and resources to individual areas is a matter for the Garda authorities who have advised that Ballinrobe Garda station is the area headquarters for Kilmaine, Shrule and Cong stations under the community policing scheme. This administrative area is situated in the southern part of Mayo and the current staffing strength assigned to it is four sergeants and eight gardaí, of whom two sergeants and four gardaí are allocated to Ballinrobe Garda station. The community policing initiative has been operating in the area since June 1982 and has been a success.
The Garda authorities have advised that Ballinrobe Garda station is open to the public from 11 a. m. to 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday to Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. When the station is unmanned, there is a direct communication link with Claremorris district headquarters.
The crime figures for Ballinrobe since 1996 are as follows:
*Figures are provisional
 While there has been an increase in recorded crime, it must be said that there has also been a substantial increase in the detection rate in the area.
The Garda authorities have also informed me that one person has been charged in relation to recent crimes committed in the Ballinrobe area and that suspects are being sought in relation to other crimes. All crimes are being actively investigated.
The Garda authorities have also informed me that they do not believe that there is any need to open Ballinrobe Garda station on a 24 hour basis at present. They believe, and I agree, that gardaí are better utilised on outdoor policing duties rather than being engaged on administrative duties, which would be necessary if the opening hours of Ballinrobe were increased. However, I am assured that the situation will be constantly monitored to ensure that an adequate policing service is maintained.
Dáil Éireann 503 Written Answers. Garda Stations.