Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Ceisteanna (259)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

259. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of Garda numbers by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49921/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources. I am informed by the Commissioner that in regard to the deployment of Garda personnel, a distribution model is used which takes into account all relevant factors including population, crime trends and the policing needs of each individual Garda Division. It is the responsibility of the Divisional Officer to allocate personnel within his/her Division.

This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. The substantial increase in Garda numbers is tangible progress on achieving this Government’s vision of an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.

I am informed by the Commissioner that on 30 September 2017, the latest date for which figures are currently available, the strength of An Garda Síochána was 13,412 members.

I am further informed by the Commissioner that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, close to 1,400 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. In addition, another 200 trainee Garda are scheduled to attest next month which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, increase to around the 13,500 mark by year end - increase of 500 since the end of 2016.  

I am pleased to say that Budget 2018 will support the continuation of this high level of investment in the Garda workforce and ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track. A further 800 new Garda Recruits will enter the Garda College, an additional 500 civilians will also be recruited to fill critical skills gaps across the organisation and to facilitate the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative and technical duties to front-line operational duties. There are plans to strengthen the Garda Reserve with new Reserves expected to commence training early in 2018.

This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division in the coming years.

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the strength of An Garda Síochána by county is not readily available in respect of An Garda Síochána as Gardaí are assigned on the basis of Divisions which do not necessarily accord to county boundaries. The Garda strength by Division as advised by the Commissioner is as set out in the attached spreadsheet as of the 30 September 2017 (that latest date for which figures are currently available).

Garda Strength by Division as of 30 September 2017

Garda Strength by Division as of 30 September 2017

DIVISION

Total

CAVAN / MONAGHAN        

321

CLARE                    

305

CORK CITY                

658

CORK NORTH               

312

CORK WEST                

287

D.M.R. EAST             

373

D.M.R. NORTH            

654

D.M.R. NORTH CENTRAL  

598

D.M.R. SOUTH             

526

D.M.R. SOUTH CENTRAL     

605

D.M.R. WEST             

652

DONEGAL                  

389

GALWAY                   

570

KERRY                    

312

KILDARE                  

341

KILKENNY/CARLOW          

318

LAOIS / OFFALY           

324

LIMERICK                 

554

LOUTH                   

305

MAYO                     

315

MEATH                    

293

ROSCOMMON / LONGFORD     

305

SLIGO / LEITRIM         

297

TIPPERARY                

372

WATERFORD                

285

WESTMEATH               

267

WEXFORD                  

276

WICKLOW                

297