I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 240 together.
The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters 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.
The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.88 billion for 2020 and of €1.952 billion in Budget 2021. This level of investment is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff. There are now over 14,600 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 3,000 Garda staff. Taken together, this number of Garda members and staff is delivering a significant growth in operational policing hours nationwide.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of Gardaí stationed in the North Inner City/DMR North Central area as of 30 September 2020 is 681. This is an increase of 70 since the end of December 2017, or 11.5%. I am further informed that both Store Street and Mountjoy Stations are open on a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week basis. Local Garda management are satisfied that there are sufficient resources available in the North Inner City area to efficiently address the rise in anti-social behaviour.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Covid-19 crisis has shown how proactive and collaborative community engagement by community services and An Garda Síochána can improve the condition of peoples’ lives. For example, since the onset of the Covid-19 restrictions, Gardaí attached to Store Street Garda Station have increased engagement with the more vulnerable members of society in the North East Inner City area of Dublin, through volunteer services, service providers and on an individual basis.
As part of the implementation of the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, my Department is devising a policy on a whole-of-Government approach to community safety which aims to help foster local communities that are safer for families, residents and businesses and that feel more secure.
The Deputy may wish to know that detailed information in relation to Garda numbers is available on my Department’s website. This information is updated every month with the latest data provided by An Garda Síochána, at the following link:
Additional information on Garda staff, the Garda Workforce and other relevant statistics are available at the following link: