Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Ceisteanna (443)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

481 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of gardaí stationed in Ennis division during 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9362/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

I presume that the Deputy is referring to the Ennis district in the Clare division. I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength, all ranks, of Ennis Garda district as at 31 December 1997, 2000 and 2002 to 2005, inclusive, was as set out in the following table:

Date

Strength

31/12/97

122

31/12/00

133

31/12/02

131

31/12/03

146

31/12/04

157

31/12/05

155

Hence the total Garda strength of the Ennis district on 31 December 2005 represented an increase of 33, or 27%, over the corresponding figure for 31 December 1997. The timescale for achieving the target strength of 14,000 members of the Garda Síochána in line with the commitment in An Agreed Programme for Government remains as when I announced the Government approval in October 2004 for my proposals to achieve this objective. The phased increase in the strength of the Garda Síochána to 14,000 will lead to a combined strength of both attested gardaí and recruits in training of 14,000 by the end of this year.

As part of the accelerated recruitment campaign to facilitate this record expansion 1,125 Garda recruits were inducted to the Garda College during 2005. The college will induct a further 1,100 recruits this year and again in 2007 by way of intakes to the Garda College of approximately 275 recruits every quarter. This project is fully on target and will be achieved. The first incremental increase of newly attested gardaí under the programme of accelerated recruitment will take place on 16 March 2006.

The Garda Commissioner will draw up plans on how best to distribute and manage these additional resources, and in this context the needs of Ennis Garda district will be fully considered within the overall context of the needs of Garda districts throughout the country.