Thursday, 3 October 2019

Questions (99)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

99. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the investment made in the Garda fleet and personnel in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda district in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39642/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

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

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. It is a matter for the Commissioner to efficiently manage the significant resources which have been provided and to determine the allocation of budgets to all regions, including the Northern Region and all Divisions, including Cavan/ Monaghan Division, based upon operational requirements.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table outlines the vehicles assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Division in 2018 and to date in 2019.

2019

Cars

Vans

4 x 4

Total

CAVAN MONAGHAN DIVISION

1

0

0

1

MONAGHAN DISTRICT

1

0

0

1

2018

Cars

Vans

4 x 4

Total

CAVAN MONAGHAN DIVISION

6

3

1

10

BAILEBORO DISTRICT

1

0

0

1

CARRICKMACROSS DISTRICT

0

1

1

2

CAVAN DISTRICT

3

2

0

5

MONAGHAN DISTRICT

2

0

0

2

I should also point out that a total of €10 million has been made available to An Garda Síochána for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from Garda management that this allocation is being used for the purchase and fit-out of over 300 for operational use in An Garda Síochána. The allocation of these new vehicles across the Garda Divisions is for Garda management and not for me as Minister.

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. And 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. Since the reopening of the Garda Training College in 2014, approximately 2,800 new Garda members have attested and been assigned to frontline policing duties in communities throughout the country. Another 200 probationer Gardaí are due to attest by the end of this year. Further, the Garda Commissioner’s decision to recruit a net 600 Garda staff in 2019 will allow for the redeployment of approximately 500 experienced Gardaí to frontline and visible policing duties by the end of this year.

As part of this overall increase, additional Garda resources have been deployed to border areas in recent months and this process is continuing. I am advised by the Garda Commissioner that as of 31 August 2019, there were 372 Gardai assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Division, which represents a 17% increase since the end of 2015. These Gardai are supported by 44 Garda Staff, as of the same date. Since the reopening of the Garda College in 2014, 100 probationer Gardai have been assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Division, including 35 in 2018 and 25 to date in 2019.

In the event that a "no deal" Brexit gives rise to additional requirements in border areas, the Commissioner has confirmed that further resources can and will be provided through redeployment.