Minister Lenihan unveils 2008 spending package for the Justice and Equality Sector

Justice and Equality Sector gets an additional 10% to bring overall resource package to an all- time high of €2.695 billion



Garda Vote up 11% to €1.616 billion

· Leading edge technology to be funded and deployed by Gardaí in tackling gangland and public order related crime.

- Total spend of €102m on Garda ICT and communications in 2008

- New state-of-the-art Digital Radio System

- New Automatic Number Plate Recognition System

- IT based Major Incident Management System

- Continued expansion of CCTV programme

- 28 civilian crime analysts to be hired

· Operation Anvil to be continued and funded nationwide

· Garda numbers to rise to 15,000

· Civilianisation programme to be stepped up

- 3 new senior posts, Head of Human Resources, Finance and Change Management to be filled

- 28 telecom technicians to be hired

- 300 civilians for Garda stations outside Dublin to free up Gardaí for frontline policing

Justice Vote up by 7% (€31.7m increase)

· COSC (Domestic Violence Agency) up by almost €0.8m an increase of 35%

· Forensic Science Services to be modernised and co-located with Garda Technical Bureau on Thornton site. New State Pathology facility to be developed

· Major expansion of staffing for Probation Service by hiring 70 additional probation officers

· €50m provided  for Youth Justice Service (19% increase)

· Additional €2.7m for Civil Legal Aid (11% increase)

· Additional funding for the National Property Regulatory Authority – new legislation to regulate property management companies in multi-occupancy dwellings

Prisons Vote increased by 11% to almost €400m

· Prisons Building Programme to be increased by over €10m to yield an additional 320 prison spaces

· €3.7m for new security based digital communications network

· Drug dogs unit to be deployed in all closed prisons

· Airport-style search facilities to be installed in all closed prisons

· Operational support group to be established

Justice Sector Capital Envelope 

· Justice Exchequer funded envelope for capital projects in 2008 to be €180m

· In addition to the Exchequer funded capital projects, over €900m is to be made available by way of Public Private Partnership funding over the next five years (2008 - 2012) to engage in a variety of Justice infrastructural projects such as the new Criminal Courts Complex

Commenting today, Minister Lenihan said he was pleased at the outcome of his 2008 estimates package negotiation: "The fight against crime is a top priority for me; the Gardaí will unrelentingly pursue those who seek to wreak havoc in our cities, towns and neighbourhoods. The resource package for the Force in 2008 is €1.616 billion – the highest ever. As well as providing for 15,000 members of the Force and a greatly increased civilian cohort, I am also providing over €100m for leading edge police technology aids. If Gardaí are to do their job well, they must have the very best in tried and proven technology; this resource allocation is being made available for that purpose."

On the wider Justice and Equality Sector, the Minister said "The resource package for my Department will enable a number of new important initiatives to be brought forward in 2008. These will include significantly enhanced security measures in our closed prisons; major infrastructure works in facilities for detaining young offenders; Garda Youth Diversion Programmes and non-custodial programmes."

5 December 2007

Courts Vote up by 4% (€5m increase)

· Additional €1m provided for stenography service to reflect the changing nature of court business

· €2m for additional support staff to support appointment of additional judges

Property Registration Authority 

· Increase of €2.6m (6%) mainly to provide for 40 additional staff to support greatly increased workload

Equality Measures

· Increase of over €2m for Gender Mainstreaming and Positive Action Measures for Women