Minister for Justice Helen McEntee welcomes details of An Garda Síochána’s plans for €10 million overtime allocation
- Increased deployment of public order unit and other specialist units in Dublin City Centre
- Overtime will provide up to 48,500 extra Garda hours per month across all Dublin Garda Divisions
- Days of Action to be held across Dublin by Gardaí
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has welcomed details announced by Angela Willis, Assistant Garda Commissioner for the Dublin Metropolitan Region, of how the additional €10 million allocation to An Garda Síochána will be used to bolster high visibility policing in Dublin city.
Minister McEntee last month announced the additional funding for Garda overtime to increase high visibility policing in the Dublin Metropolitan Region.
The Minister is committed to ensuring Dubliners working and living in our capital, and those who visit the city, are safe and feel safe. An enhanced visible policing presence is central to achieving this objective and Minister McEntee is in regular contact with An Garda Síochána in this regard.
She welcomed the detail provided today by Assistant Commissioner Willis on how the additional €10 million is being spent, and will be spent, to provide consistent high visibility policing in the capital.
- Increased deployment of the Garda National Public Order Unit in the city centre, with €2m of the €10million dedicated to increased public order capacity
- An enhanced visible Garda presence at strategic locations in Dublin city centre
- Uniformed Gardaí supported in the city centre by the Garda Air Support Unit, the Garda Mounted Unit, the Garda Dog Unit, Regional Armed Response Units, and Road Policing Units to enhance visibility in the city centre
- Planned days of high impact operations in the city centre and across all DMR divisions
- High visibility patrols on the transport network and near transport services
- An enhanced Operation Citizen, including a focus on tackling street level drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and the seizure of alcohol in the city centre
Minister McEntee said:
“As Minister for Justice I am committed to ensuring that Gardaí have the resources they need to build stronger, safer communities. This additional funding will help with the Garda commitment to continue to protect Dublin communities and ensure that the city is a safe place for all to live, work and visit.
“I am pleased that the plans now in place by the Garda Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner Willis and Garda management will deliver high visibility policing in the capital to support safety in Dublin.
“While policing alone cannot solve many of the factors which contribute to criminality or people feeling unsafe, high visibility policing is crucial to providing reassurance for all who live in, work in or visit our capital city.
“I also look forward in the coming weeks to launching the Community Safety Plan for Dublin’s north inner city. This plan, drawn up by the Community Safety Partnership which I established, recognises that increasing safety is not just the responsibility of An Garda Síochána alone. It also requires significant input from the local community and other State services, such as local authorities, health, education and others.
“But nobody knows better than local communities how to increase safety in their areas – and that is why the community is centrally involved in drawing up these plans.”
The North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnerships (LCSPs) is one of three pilots established by Minister McEntee ahead of the rollout of the partnerships locally next year. The Dublin LCSP is due to publish its Community Safety Plan in the coming weeks.
Minister McEntee added:
“In the coming weeks, I will also announce the latest round of funding grants under the Community Safety Innovation fund, which I established to reinvest the ill-gotten proceeds of crime as seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau into local projects to improve community safety.”
Budget 2023 also reflects the commitment of Government to ensuring that our communities are safe and that An Garda Síochána has the resources required to operate effectively. The budget provided by Government to the Garda Commissioner continues to increase to unprecedented levels, with an allocation of more than €2 billion for 2023.
Minister McEntee said that Garda recruitment is now accelerating after a Covid enforced pause, with new classes both entering and graduating from the Garda College in Templemore every three months.
The Minister said:
“We are seeing numbers consistently increase in Templemore. 135 trainees entered the training college in February and another 154 in May. Another class of 174, the largest class since Covid, entered the college at the end of July, continuing the building momentum in recruitment
“100 new Gardaí have attested so far this year; another 470 will be in active training – and two more classes are due into Templemore in October and December. And I also look forward to attending the graduation of the next class in October, as well as working with colleagues in Government to ensure this strong pipeline of recruits is maintained.”
“Along with Minister of State James Browne, I am also committed to further expanding the number of Youth Diversion Programmes, which do hugely valuable work, across the country.”
Through the Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027 the Department of Justice is broadening and deepening the services provided by the network of Youth Diversion Projects across the State.
This puts a focus on Early Intervention and Family Support programmes for children at risk, as well as access to appropriate Education, Training and Youth Services.
The Department of Justice is currently funding eight Youth Diversion Projects covering the Dublin City Centre area (specifically Dublin 1, 7 and 8) and is committed to expanding the number of YDPs across the country.
Funding for Youth Diversion Projects is provided by the Department of Justice and co-financed by the European Social Fund’s ESF+ Programme.
Notes to the Editor:
Minister McEntee is also introducing tough new laws to ensure that communities have a real say in making their areas safer.
These include the recent enactment of legislation to:
- Increase the sentence for assault causing harm from five years to ten years
- Increase the maximum sentence for conspiracy to murder from ten years to life
- Increase the maximum sentence for assaulting a Garda and emergency workers from seven years to 12 years.
Speaking at the latest Garda graduation ceremony in Templemore last month, Minister McEntee also outlined her legislative priorities for the coming autumn Dáil session to deliver on her policy agenda of building stronger, safer communities.
- The rollout of bodycams for members of An Garda Síochána from early next year, which requires the enactment of the Recording Devices Bill.
- The national rollout of Community Safety Partnerships from next summer, which requires the enactment of the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill
- The establishment of the new statutory Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Agency by January as a key part of the Zero Tolerance plan, which requires the enactment of legislation to establish the agency