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Ireland Garda Commissioner has earmarked a €23 million reduction in Dublin policing

07:35  26 january  2020
07:35  26 january  2020 Source:   thejournal.ie

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The Garda Commissioner (Irish: Coimisinéir an Gharda Síochána) – officially known as the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána – is the head of the Garda Síochána, the national police force of the Republic of Ireland.

An Garda Síochána, more commonly referred to as the Gardaí or "the Guards", is the police service of the Republic of Ireland. The service is headed by the Garda Commissioner who is appointed by the

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GARDA COMMISSIONER DREW Harris has earmarked a €23 million reduction in spending for the Dublin region as he told his chiefs across the country to keep their budgets in check for the year, TheJournal.ie has learned 

At a meeting with chief superintendents earlier this month in Templemore, Tipperary, Harris outlined to his senior officers how they were to achieve the reduction. 

The Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) traditionally receives a significant chunk of the Garda budget due to the amount of crime in its districts. It has previously had to adjust its spending to come in within its budget. 

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The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is an independent statutory body in Ireland charged with overseeing the Garda Síochána, the national police force. It is a three -member body established under the Garda Síochána Act

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A number of officers from the region have also been placed on duty in other areas, such as Drogheda, as well as other regions where criminality is increasing. As a result, and to continue to operate its service effectively in the capital, there is an overspend on overtime and other cost-inducing factors. 

That overspend has reduced in the last two years, a security source said, and the DMR is expected to reduce its overspend this year also.

The current overtime budget for the region remained at €95 million for the year. The main Garda budget this year stands at €1.882 billion, an increase of €122 million on the 2019 allocation.

“The DMR is always over budget. It’s to do with the amount of crime in the area. The Commissioner was saying this, not as a reprimand to the DMR, but to everyone, that coming in on budget was important.

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The Garda Public Order Unit – commonly known as the Garda Riot Squad – is a unit of the Garda Síochána, Ireland's police force, that deals with public disorder, including riots and protests. All gardaí assigned to Public Order Units are standard uniformed members assigned to normal policing duties

Armed Support Units (ASU) (Irish: Tacaiochta Faoi Arm) are specialist armed response units of the Garda Síochána, the national police force of Ireland. Based in all six Garda regions in the country, Garda ASU officers carry a combination of lethal firearms and non-lethal weapons

“There’s always a better chance of getting more in the following budget if the region comes in within its targets,” the source told TheJournal.ie. 

Claims from within garda circles that the cost-cutting measures were to be abandoned as a result of the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods proved unfounded and without substance. 

The Mulready-Woods investigation is being conducted mainly out of Drogheda Garda Station. However, Dublin gardaí are also involved in evidence and intelligence gathering due to the north Dublin criminal connection to the active warring gangs in the Louth region.

The Garda Press Office was contacted for comment in relation to the cut.

Initially, a spokesman informed us of the current budget within the force. He said: “The Garda Budget for 2020 is €1.882 billion. This is an increase of €122 million (7%) on the 2019 allocation.

“The annual Garda overtime budget for 2020 is €95m, the same as 2019.

“Following a review of devolved overtime budgets in 2019 across the Garda Organisation, the current devolved overtime budgets for the DMR for 2020 has increased by 7% compared to the 2019 allocation.”

Asked to clarify specifically about the meeting held by Commissioner Harris and the proposed €23 million cut, TheJournal.ie received a spokesman added: “The Garda Commissioner has repeatedly stressed the need for An Garda Síochána to stay within the budget provided.

“As well as the annual overtime budgets allocated to regions for operational policing, a separate overtime budget is overseen by the Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, for specific operations, particularly in relation to organised crime.” 

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