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 crime prevention is a core function of An Garda Síochána and that all Gardaí play an active role in crime prevention and reduction. In addition there are dedicated Crime Prevention Officers (CPOs) within each Garda Division. These CPOs are trained to encourage, promote and advise on crime prevention to both the private and business community. These specially trained officers are skilled at identifying risk factors and advise on what mitigating action can be taken to reduce opportunities to commit crime.
I am further informed by the Commissioner that the Divisional CPO for Dublin North retired and pending the holding of a competition to fill this position, the Divisional CPO for the DMR West Division is also covering the DMR North, delivering any crime prevention advice necessary for residents and businesses in the Division.
I am advised by the Commissioner that competitions recently concluded for promotion to the rank of sergeant and inspector with the aim of bringing the number in these ranks up to the full strength as agreed under the Employment Control Framework (ECF). The allocation of successful candidates is currently underway, with 300 newly promoted Sergeants and 113 new promoted Inspectors having been appointed to date.
I am advised that the timing of a competition to fill the position of Divisional CPO for Dublin North, will be considered by the Divisional Officer as resources become available, following on from the ongoing appointment of sergeants from the promotion panel now in place.