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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 172-178
 Header Item Crime Prevention
 Header Item Garda Operations
 Header Item Garda Training
 Header Item Garda Divisional Policing Plans
 Header Item Stardust Fire Issues
 Header Item Road Safety Issues
 Header Item Subsidiary Protection Applications

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 806 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos. 172-178

Crime Prevention

 172. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he is satisfied that the law is sufficiently robust to deal with gangs who are involved in the theft of clothes from charity clothes banks and who have caused damage to the clothes banks; and the number of prosecutions, if any, that have taken place in each of the past three years against persons apprehended for theft or damage of this kind.  [28337/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter An Garda Síochána’s Policing Plan 2013, sets out the continued commitment of An Garda Síochána to pro-actively target groups and individuals engaged in criminal activity, including all forms of organised criminal activities. There is a wide range of robust legislation already in place to tackle criminality of the kind referred to by the Deputy. In particular individuals involved in theft or criminal damage are subject to extensive penalties including under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and the Criminal Justice (Criminal Damage) Act 1991.

An Garda Síochána continues to develop and implement new operations and strategies aimed at targeting, dismantling and disrupting criminal networks by utilising advanced analytical and intelligence methodologies. An Garda Síochána also continues to work closely with neighbouring police forces to tackle cross border criminality and transnational criminal groupings. This includes ongoing cooperation and interaction with Europol and Interpol agencies.

I should mention that at my request, I have received a detailed confidential report from the Garda Commissioner on the activities of certain crime gangs involved in bogus charity collection and related criminality. The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot go into the detail of the Garda analysis of this phenomenon but I can assure him that extensive operations have been put in place which are successfully impacting and disrupting the activities of those involved.

Insofar as the number of prosecutions that have taken place over the past three years that directly relate specifically to stealing clothes from charity banks and/or causing criminal damage to clothes banks, I am advised that it would not be possible to produced these detailed figures without a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources.

Garda Operations

 173. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will report on the Garda Operation Headrest; the number of persons arrested and charged in line with this operation; the number of successful convictions secured to date; and if the operation is still ongoing.  [28338/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Headrest, which commenced in 2010, is a joint operation between An Garda Síochána and the Department of Social Protection targeting particular fraudulent claimants on the social welfare system. The Garda investigation was conducted by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and involved searches of dwellings, seizures of documents, arrests and detention of suspects resulting in charges being brought against a number of persons which resulted in successful prosecutions.

The operation is ongoing and investigations are continuing.

Garda Training

 174. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide a breakdown of the full cost to the Exchequer of training an additional 250, 500, 750 and 1,000 members of An Garda Síochána.  [28339/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed that on the basis of current figures the direct cost, incorporating basic pay and allowances, of a Garda recruit up to attestation would be in the region of €8,000 and that uniform costs amounting to approximately €1,200 would be incurred. Additional expenditure would also arise in a number of areas, such as for training and maintenance, but the relevant amounts would depend on a number of factors, including the number of recruits involved.

Garda Divisional Policing Plans

 175. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter when the Garda divisional policing plans for 2013 will be published on the website of An Garda Síochána, particularly the policing plan for the Dublin Metropolitan Region northern division; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [28340/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Garda Divisional Policing Plans for 2013, including that for the Dublin Metropolitan Region North Division, are available on the Garda Síochána website, www.garda.ie, under 'Publications'.

Stardust Fire Issues

 176. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will lay the Report of the Independent Examination of the Stardust Victims Committee's Case for a Reopened Inquiry into the Stardust Fire Disaster as originally drafted and submitted to his Department by Mr. Paul Coffey SC before Dáil Éireann.  [28341/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter As the Deputy will be aware, the document in question has been released under Freedom of Information legislation but I do not propose to depart from normal practice by laying before the Oireachtas a draft version of an independent report, which was submitted on the basis that amendments could be made prior to its publication.

Road Safety Issues

 177. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the actions his Department will take to ensure that road safety laws concerning cyclists are enforced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22988/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed by the Garda authorities that members of An Garda Síochána enforce the law on pedal cycling as part of their normal duties on an ongoing basis. In addition to the day to day enforcement of the relevant provisions of the Road Traffic Acts, breaches of the legislation in respect of pedal cycle behaviour are regularly targeted by way of specific Garda operations throughout the country. Where breaches of legislation are detected, members of An Garda Síochána, depending on the circumstances, may deal with the incident by way of advice or caution or by initiating criminal proceedings.

I am further informed that the Garda authorities regularly give educational talks, including through the Garda Schools Programme, on road safety and road traffic legislation, including on pedal cycling, to young people and other identified high-risk road users to encourage increased compliance.

Subsidiary Protection Applications

 178. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter when the application for subsidiary protection in the State will be decided in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [28367/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Following the formal refusal of his asylum application, the person concerned lodged an application for subsidiary protection. In light of the High Court Judgment of Mr. Justice Hogan in the MM case, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), in conjunction with the Offices of the Attorney General, is working on the development of a framework, legislative and administrative, under which existing and future applications for subsidiary protection will be determined. Once the necessary legislative provisions have been completed, the new subsidiary protection determination arrangements will be put into operation as soon as possible thereafter. Further information is available on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) Website - www.inis.gov.ie - and this information will be updated as developments occur.

The legislative provisions referred to above are being given priority attention. Once the new arrangements are in place, steps will be taken to have all outstanding applications for subsidiary protection, including the application lodged by the person concerned, processed in a timely manner.

In the event that his application for subsidiary protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before a final decision is made. Once a decision has been made, this decision, and the consequences of the decision, will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.


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