Overtime bill to police gangland feud cost €12.39m last year

Overtime bill to police gangland feud cost €12.39m last year
Gardai on duty in Dublin's inner city

A spend of €12.39m on over-time last year to police the ongoing Kinahan Hutch feud contributed to an overall overtime bill of €117m for the Gardaí last year.

That is according to new Garda figures which also show that policing the 38 hour visit by Pope Francis last August cost 4.2m in Garda overtime.

The Dublin Metropolitan Regional (DMR) North Central area where most Garda resources have been focused on keeping a lid on the murderous feud shows that the overtime bill for the area was the highest in the capital and the country at €12.39m last year.

The total overtime bill for the overall Dublin Metropolitan Region amounted to €48.2m - accounting for 41% of the overall €117m total.

Policing in Dublin
Policing in Dublin

The overtime spend in the DMR South Central area was €10.92m and was €8.8m in the DMR North area while the overtime spend in the DMR West area was €8.29m.

The spend in the DMR South was €5.18m while the spend in DMR East was €2.5m.

In addition, overtime pay to national units and Garda HQ totalled €26.83m for 2018 and a fair proportion of that overtime spend would be spent in the capital.

Last year, Gardai stated that they had prevented 50 planned killings in the Kinahan Hutch feud.

Part of Pope Francis’s visit was a trip to the Knock shrine in Co Mayo and the Pope’s visit there contributed to the Garda overtime bill for Co Mayo increasing by 19% to €811,023 for the third quarter this year.

The figures show that the total overtime spend for the last quarter from October to the end of December was €22.8m - this represented a decline of 35% overtime spend of €35.2m in the second quarter where the overtime bill was inflated by the Papal visit.

The sharp drop in the overtime spend followed the intervention of Commissioner, Drew Harris who announced in late September that he had cut discretionary and administrative overtime across the force.

Commissioner Harris stated that the overtime spend being on course to exceed its budget “is not a sustainable position”.

A Garda spokesman said on Thursday: “Shortly after his appointment in September 2018 Commissioner Harris introduced measures that led to a reduction in the overtime spend for the last few months of 2018 and has committed An Garda Síochána to working within the budget made available to it by Government for 2019.”

The overtime budget for this year is €95m.

However, a sizeable chunk of the overtime spend for last year was not spent on overtime for front-line policing.

A letter from the Garda Commissioner’s Office in November 2017 explained that the pay for the ‘parade time’ “has a first call on the overtime budget” and was expected to total €21.7m in 2018.

The ‘parade time’ is a fixed cost and is worth around €1,500 to each Garda for the 15 minute period they are briefed at the start of each shift and was agreed to in return for Gardai not going on strike in November 2016.

The parade time amounts to 550,000 overtime hours.

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