Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (548)

Kate O'Connell

Question:

548. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the additional resources assigned to the Garda specialist units that come within the ambit of special crime operatives, including the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34835/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. An unprecedented €1.76 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019, as well as capital investment amounting to €92 million this year.

This significant investment is supporting progress towards achievement of the Government's 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, almost 2,800 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. We currently have over 14,200 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,600 Garda staff. And these numbers are increasing, with ongoing and increased recruitment both of new Gardaí as well as Garda staff, allowing for redeployment of experienced Gardaí to operational duties at the front-line.

It is important to note that the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for managing An Garda Síochána as well as for the allocation of Garda resources, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for personnel matters. I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

The Deputy raised the specific question of resources assigned to the Garda specialist units and I have set out in the attached tables data, provided to my Department by the Garda authorities, in relation to the current strength of Garda national units. This information will also be added to my Department's website www.justice.ie in the near future.

In relation to the attached tables, it is important to note that national specialist units which form Garda Special Crime Operations support the work of all Garda Divisions nationwide, where necessary and appropriate. These include national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the National Immigration Bureau, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

I should point out, in relation to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), that responsibility for border management function in Dublin Airport moved from GNIB to my Department in recent years as part of a programme of “civilianisation” designed to ensure that trained Garda officers are available for frontline duties nationwide. Further, GNIB is a national unit which supports the immigration-related work of Gardaí in all Divisions nationwide. Only those Garda members assigned deployed to GNIB are included in the table attached.

The Special Detective Unit (SDU) also comes under this heading. As the Deputy may be aware, the SDU is responsible for the investigation of threats to state security and monitoring of persons who pose a threat to the security of the State on both national and international fronts, as well as security for visiting VIPs, cash in transit movements and further is the operational wing of the Witness Security Programme. The highly trained and equipped specialist intervention unit, the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), is also part of SDU. For security and operational reasons the strength of the SDU, ERU, Regional Support Units and the Special Tactics and Operational Command (STOC) Unit cannot be provided.

Tables:

Strength of Garda Special Crime Operations 31 May 2019

CR

DC

AC

CS

SU

IN

SG

GD

TOTAL

Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau

0

0

0

1

3

4

12

86

106

Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau

0

0

0

0

1

1

4

21

27

Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (formerly Garda Bureau of  Fraud Investigation)

0

0

0

1

2

3

10

43

59

Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation

0

0

0

1

4

5

12

52

74

Garda National Protective Services Bureau

0

0

0

1

3

2

16

40

64

Garda National Technical Bureau

0

0

0

0

1

2

15

46

64

Criminal Assets Bureau

0

0

0

1

1

2

6

34

44

*As of 31 May 2019

Key: GD= Garda; SG= Sergeant; IN= Inspector; SU= Superintendent; CS= Chief Superintendent; AC= Assistant Commissioner; DC= Deputy Commissioner; CR= Commissioner

Garda National Immigration Bureau 2009 - 2019*

Year

Garda

Sergeant

Inspector

SU

CS

Total

2009

164

22

5

2

1

194

2010

154

19

5

2

1

181

2011

149

17

5

2

1

174

2012

134

15

5

2

1

157

2013

126

15

3

1

1

146

2014

120

12

3

1

1

137

2015

105

9

2

2

1

119

2016

99

9

4

2

1

115

2017

102

15

2

2

1

122

2018

96

12

4

2

1

115

2019

93

13

4

2

1

113

*As of 31 May 2019