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Garda Deployment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 13 June 2013

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Questions (6)

Seamus Kirk

Question:

6. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the total number of Garda serving in the traffic corps in 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28283/13]

View answer

Oral answers (4 contributions) (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the deployment of Garda personnel and the allocation of resources throughout the force, and that I have no function in the matter. These deployments and allocations are kept under continuing review by the Commissioner, and may be adjusted from time to time in the light of operational requirements.

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of the traffic corps on the dates referred to by the Deputy are set out in the table.

Of course all operational gardaí may, as the need arises, enforce road traffic law. In this respect it is worth noting that, while the number of gardaí assigned to the traffic corps has reduced over the last four years, the number of mandatory alcohol testing check points has in fact increased during this period. Some 57,568 such checkpoints were operated in 2010; 70,861 in 2011; 71,960 in 2012; and 30,170 to the end of May, the first five months of this year.

In that regard, the Garda Síochána is continuing to perform the necessary functions conferred on it in the context of important issues that come under the remit of the traffic corps.

Date

Strength

31 December 2010

1,018

31 December 2011

947

31 December 2012

877

30 April 2013

846

The AA conducted a survey of 20,000 drivers and almost 75% of those believed that there were fewer gardaí on the road performing their functions. My question is linked to the wider functions of the Garda Síochána and comes back to the question of recruitment. Can the Minister give any indication on this occasion - he has given it previously, we have been down that road and he U-turned on it - as to when recruitment to An Garda Síochána and training will resume?

As I have said to the Deputy in the past, it is my intention that there will be a move to recruit as early as is possible. The Deputy will recall that when a decision was made initially with regard to Croke Park II, which indicated that there would still be difficulties in effecting the savings of €1 billion by 2015, the matter of recruitment had to be delayed. I am pleased that in the context of the further talks that took place, the Garda representative bodies have agreed arrangements with regard to effecting the crucial savings that were necessary in that particular area. I am very conscious that they are matters on which members of the force have to deliver their view and that these matters have yet to be finally resolved by the decision of members of various unions and representative bodies.

I can tell the Deputy that work is moving forward with a view to commencing a recruitment campaign and I hope, when there is clarity finally on the savings that have to be effected, to be in a position to bring the proposal before Government and that matters will proceed from that point.

I would remind the Deputy that in the troika agreement his party entered into no provision was made for any Garda recruitment nor did it envisage any Garda recruitment up to 2015.

Why did you not renegotiate it? Shame on you.

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