Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (197)

David Cullinane

Question:

197. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the yearly wage cost of a whole-time digital forensic specialist. [38678/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made in Garda ICT, the Garda fleet and the Garda estate. In total, the Garda capital allocation has increased from €61 million to €92 million in 2019, which represents a 50% increase.

I would also point out that An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We currently have over 14,200 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,700 Garda staff. As part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021, there is ongoing and increased recruitment both of new Gardaí as well as Garda staff, allowing for redeployment of Gardaí to operational duties at the front-line.

This continuing investment in people and capital demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the training of its members and Garda staff. The Commissioner is also responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, in light of identified operational demands.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that they have not yet reached the point of recruiting digital forensic specialists for An Garda Síochána. As such, I am informed that it is not possible to quantify the costs which might arise in relation to any such possible future post.