Written Answers. - Garda Deployment.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

324 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has had discussions with the Garda authorities in relation to Garda strength in different divisions with a view to transferring more gardaí to areas in which there is a rising population, high increases in the crime rate and a low detection rate; if he has requested the Garda authorities to examine the Carlow-Kildare division; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19287/03]

I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the day to day allocation of resources, including personnel, that cognisance is always taken of population and crime trends when allocating personnel throughout the country. Garda management continue to appraise the policing and administrative strategy employed throughout the country with a view to ensuring that an effective Garda service is maintained.

I am further informed that the personnel strength of the Carlow-Kildare division as at 1 July 2003 is 321. This represents an increase of 29, or 10%, in the personnel allocated to the Carlow-Kildare division since 31 December 1997. In the same time period the overall strength of the force increased by 7.8%. The increase in the personnel allocated to the Carlow-Kildare division therefore compares very favourably with the other operational divisions throughout the country.

The situation will be kept under review and when additional personnel next becomes available the needs of the Carlow-Kildare division will be fully considered within the overall context of the needs of Garda divisions throughout the country.