I propose to take Questions Nos. 703, 705 and 707 together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources is made in light of identified operational demands. This includes deployment of personnel among the various Garda Divisions. As Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.
I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of policing priorities and crime trends, to ensure their optimum use. I understand that it is a matter for the Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimum distribution of duties among the personnel available to him or her, having regard to the profile of each area within the Division and its specific needs.
To date, the official categorisation as a Community Garda has simply referred to those who are exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities and civil society including giving talks to schools, community groups and others. However, it is important to note that community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána and that all Gardaí have a role to play in community policing in carrying out their duties. Indeed, this has never been more evident than in the work carried out by all members of the Gardaí over the last eight months as we have tackled the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have been advised by the Garda authorities the information provided in the attached spreadsheet, sets out the number of Community Gardaí assigned to the Garda stations based at Pearse Street, Kevin Street and Irishtown for the years in question.
I can inform the Deputy that detailed information in relation to Community 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:
Community Policing 2016-20