As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
I am informed by the Commissioner that the strength of the Dublin Metropolitan Region (D.M.R.) North Division and the D.M.R. North Central Division on 28 February 2018, the latest date for which information is readily available, was 666 and 613 respectively. There are also 43 Garda Reserves and 39 Garda civilian staff attached the D.M.R. North Division and 35 Garda Reserves and 42 Garda civilian staff attached to the D.M.R. North Central Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Armed Support Units, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. To achieve this the Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. We are making real, tangible progress on achieving this goal.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, just under 1,800 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 140 and 170 have been assigned to the D.M.R. North Division and the D.M.R. North Central Division respectively. Garda numbers, taking account of retirements, increased to 13,551 at the end of 2017 – a net increase of over 600 since the end of 2016.
I am pleased that funding is in place to maintain this high level of investment in the Garda workforce to ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track. This year a further 800 new Garda Recruits will enter the Garda College. In total, 800 Garda trainees are scheduled to attest during the year, some 200 of whom attested last month. Further, Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, are on track to reach 14,000 by the end of this year.
In addition, a further 500 civilians will also be recruited to fill critical skills gaps across the organisation and to facilitate the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative and technical duties to front-line operational duties. There are plans to strengthen the Garda Reserve with new Reserves expected to commence training in 2018.
This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Division, including the D.M.R. North Division and the D.M.R. North Central Division.
For the Deputy's information I have set out in the spreadsheets at the following links the Garda allocation in each Garda station in the DMR North and the DMR North Central areas by rank for each year from 2010 to 2017 and up to 28 February 2018, the latest date for which figures are currently available.
DMR North Central