Thursday, 5 March 2020

Questions (399)

Marian Harkin


399. Deputy Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there will be a reduction in Garda numbers and a further reduction in hours for the Garda station in Boyle, County Roscommon, under the proposed reorganisation of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3249/20]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and control of An Garda Síochána and for the effective and efficient use of Garda resources. This includes responsibility for matters including the opening hours of Garda stations, allocation of personnel and deployment of resources.  As Minister, I have no role in these matters.  I am assured 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.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that as of 29 February 2020, there are 27 Garda members assigned to Boyle Garda station.  I am further advised by the Garda authorities that no reduction in manpower or opening hours for Boyle Garda Station is planned at this time.

The Deputy may wish to be aware that An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented €1.88 billion for 2020.  This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff and as a result, An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We now have approximately 14,300 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over

2,900 Garda staff and these numbers are continuing to grow. 

The rollout by the Garda Commissioner of the new Garda Operating Model meets a key commitment in A Policing Service for the Future, the four-year implementation plan giving effect to the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.  This model has been long recommended by independent policing specialists, including the Garda Síochána Inspectorate and while new to Ireland, it is the standard in other countries. The new Operating Model is designed to provide a more responsive, localised policing service to communities and it streamlines Garda administration and re-organises resources in order to do so.  I am confident that this adoption by the Commissioner of this new structure will lead to an improved policing service in communities nationwide.