Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (647)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

647. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 118 of 22 May 2019 to which no reply was received, if he will seek additional resources for traffic policing in budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36124/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I refer to your Parliamentary Question No 118 for answer on 22 May 2019. At the time I responded that I would request the relevant information from Garda authorities and that I would write directly to you on receipt of same. This information has been received and is included in the substantive response that follows.

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions, is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of his identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no direct role in this matter.

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. I understand 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.

Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 and investment of €46 million in the Garda fleet over the same period, to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet.

Given the Government's plan to increase the size of the Garda organisation to 21,000 personnel by 2021, it is anticipated that there will be sufficient numbers of Garda members that can be allocated to traffic policing consistent with the Commissioner’s operational priorities.

A selection competition to increase the overall strength of Garda Roads Policing Units commenced nationwide in 2017. This selection competition is now complete and an additional 146 Garda members were assigned to Roads Policing Units nationwide in Q4 2018.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a further competition to increase the overall strength of Roads Policing Units commenced nationwide in February 2019. This competition is currently ongoing and it is envisaged that by the end of 2019 there will be an increase in members attached to Roads Policing Units nationwide.  The following table indicates the Garda staffing projection for the Roads Policing Units Nationwide envisaged by 2021:

Year

Target Level

2018

744

2019

891

2020

980

2021

1,035