Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (124)

Bernard Durkan


124. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of members of An Garda Síochána, including Reserve members, available for duty at all times nationally; the extent to which membership of the force continues to be deployed in order to bring the strength of the force up to optimum levels in all areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27182/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters, and I, as Minister, do not have responsibility for this matter.

I am informed by the Commissioner that as of the 30 April 2019, the latest date for which information is available, the overall strength of An Garda Síochána was 14,126 with 508 Reserves and 2,659 Civilians.

I am further informed by the Commissioner that a class of approximately 100 Garda reserve recruits commenced training on 23/24 March 2019 at the Garda College, Templemore. This is a positive development and delivers on the target set out under 'A Policing Service for the Future', the implementation plan for the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.

The Commissioner has this year been provided with an additional €100 million bringing his budget to almost €1.8 billion, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and a net 600 Garda Staff. This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,800 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. Garda numbers reached the target of 14,000 by the end of 2018 and are on track to reach 15,000 by 2021.

I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions.

For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the link below