Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (128)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent of gender balance within An Garda Síochána at all ranks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27187/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Commissioner that the total number of women in all ranks of An Garda Síochána as of the 31 May 2019, the latest date for which figures are currently available was 3,780 or approximately 27% of the total strength of 14,099. This compares favourably with 3,130 or 21.7% of the total strength on 31 December 2008. While this is broadly in line with other police services in England and Wales, there is clearly plenty of scope for improvement.

In the course of its work the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland (CoFPI) held semi-structured focus group discussions with female Garda members to explore the experiences of female Garda personnel regarding their careers, training and development and future prospects. Among the recommendations made in the CoFPI report, which the Government adopted in December 2018, is the reform of the current roster and greater flexibility of work practices which would enhance the attractiveness and job satisfaction of a career in An Garda Síochána.

In addition, the report also recommended that An Garda Síochána should reflect the diversity of Irish society, not only in gender and ethnicity, but also in terms of socio-economic, educational and geographical backgrounds and that they would need to develop recruitment strategies which reach a more diverse intake.

An Garda Síochána is developing a Garda Diversity and Inclusion Strategy which is at an advanced stage and recognises the importance of recruiting from a wide cross-section of the population so that the organisation provides a policing service that reflects the growing diversity of Irish society.

A concerted effort is being made to encourage women and minority communities to consider a career in An Garda Síochána so that its membership reflects the community that it serves. Recent recruitment campaigns have made a significant effort through on-line videos and other media to attract candidates from minority communities and diverse social groups. In the most recent recruitment campaign a series of videos and text were produced in multiple languages including English, Irish, French, Spanish, Italian and Arabic. They were published on the Garda Facebook page which has more than 180,000 followers.

For the Deputy's information I have attached below in tabular form, as requested, the Garda strength by gender and rank on the 31 May 2019, the latest date for which figures are currently available, as supplied by the Commissioner.

Garda Members as at 31/05/2019

Rank

Male

Female

Female as % of total

Commissioner

1

0

0%

Deputy Commissioner

1

0

0%

Assistant Commissioner

7

2

22%

Chief Superintendent

39

8

17%

Superintendent

153

15

9%

Inspector

316

64

17%

Sergeant

1602

431

21%

Garda

8200

3260

28%

Totals

10,319

3,780

27%