The report by the Garda Inspectorate said the opening of the new Anglesea Street courthouse in May meant an additional two sergeants and nine gardaí were required daily at the complex, for prisoner management and building security.
Previously, only district court cases took place at the Anglesea Street. Now, all circuit and central criminal cases are also heard there.
In its report, the Garda Inspectorate said: “An additional two sergeants and nine gardaí are now required on a daily basis for prisoner management and building security.
“No additional resources were provided, resulting in daily abstractions from core policing roles. This greatly impacts on the availability of resources for local policing. Often, those most affected by abstractions are victim of crimes and local communities.”
It continued: “It has previously been recommended that options for divestiture and outsourcing in relation to these kinds of issues as well as reducing unnecessary and repeated court appearances for witnesses be developed. This is an area that requires the appointment of a strategic lead at senior management level to resolve some of these issues, working with other agencies, with the aim of releasing significant numbers of gardaí back to front-line policing duties.”
The report added: “In December 2018, a Value for Money Review of prison escorts supported the Inspectorate’s view that escorting remand prisoners to and from courts is not a core Garda Síochána function.”
The renovated building is up and running after almost three years, with works costing up to €34 million. It was closed at the end of July 2015, with all district court activity moving to the Washington Street complex.
The Washington Street Courthouse now houses all civil and family law cases as well as criminal court sittings for juveniles.