Gardaí seek tenders to convert 5 vans into mobile ‘stations’

Five panel vans are to be converted into mobile Garda “stations”, each with a desk, public bell, and a private room.

A tender has been advertised for the supply of a number of vans to be fitted out and used as mobile Garda offices.

The stated tender is for the “fit out of five Fiat Ducato panel vans to be used as mobile Garda offices for An Garda Síochána”.

The deadline for tenders to be received is the middle of this month.

The tender does not make clear whether the five vans are already in Garda possession and simply require a makeover, or whether the tender includes the supply of the vans as well as a complete fit-out as offices.

The tender was sent from the Finance & Procurement office at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

The move comes as 100 Garda stations are being closed this year as part of the Garda District and Station Consolidation Programme.

The closure of the Garda stations will be on a phased basis, but 95 stations have closed already, in line with what Garda authorities describe as providing “for effectiveness and efficiencies through a programme of restructuring and reconfiguration of our service delivery methods”.

The five converted vans are expected to form part of the force’s revised structures which, according to the Garda’s 2013 Programme, “will continue to support our community policing philosophy through the clustering of services at policing hubs”.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter recently told the Dáil that the closure of the 100 Garda stations nationwide would allow for an extra 61,000 hours of patrol.

“It is planned they [the mobile Garda offices] will be assigned to areas where stations have been closed, to ensure the public can continue to conduct their business and interact with An Garda Síochána,” he said.

Sinn Féin’s justice spokesman, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, described the move as “farcical” and a “sticking plaster rather than a real solution”.

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