The Garda Report which recommended the reopening of Stepaside Garda Station has been published.

The report shows that based on the criteria set by Government, the gardaí had only four stations to select from in Dublin and that Stepaside was the most suitable on the basis of the criteria.

The report shows the Government set the terms of reference for the reopening of Garda stations - such as crime statistics and population figures.

It also said that at least one station had to be in Dublin.

The report pointed out that the population in the area served by Stepaside increased by up to 20%, with the population of the next station, Rush, increasing by up to 13%.

It also showed that reported property crime in the Stepaside area had "significantly" decreased in the first three months of this year.

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However the report also said that the reopening of Stepaside would enhance public confidence in the area and the population there was likely to continue to grow into the future.

The report also says that Kill of the Grange and Dalkey should not be reopened if Stepaside is approved, and recommended Rush as the second station, but said its opening should be postponed until a decision is made on all six stations.

Additional research is needed before considering a station in the west, south and north of the country.

Of the three in the south east available, the report says the Regional Assistant Commissioners recommended the reopening of Leighlinbridge in Co Carlow because of the increase in population and its proximity to the M9 motorway, and vulnerability to mobile criminals.

However further analysis is also awaited before a final decision is made on these stations and many of the stations closed had been sold and could no longer be reopened.

The report cautions against over-reliance on crime figures and points to technology advances that could be considered.

It says plans for the introduction of advanced IT systems, CCTV, ANPR and handheld devices have the capacity to reduce the need for gardaí to be based in stations.

It says population is equally important to consider where people are not just where they live, and highlights the need for gardaí to be in business districts, holiday locations and third level institutions.

It also makes the case for new garda stations to be built at Dublin Airport and Dublin Port.

This was an interim report and the other five stations recommended for reopening are to be included in the final report expected to be submitted to Government later next month.

The Minister for Justice said today while it would be usual and appropriate to await the final report, in the light of what he called misleading public comment and baseless assertions, the interim report was being published.

The report runs to 30 pages, and can be seen here.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan said the publication of the report raises further questions for the Government.

In a statement he said: "The Government committed to explaining the full rationale behind the proposal to reopen Stepaside Garda Station. They are now using the publication of this report to stand over that decision.

He added: "The first interim report needs to be published immediately so that we can get a proper understanding of why this decision was taken."