The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion and this is increasing further to an unprecedented €1.88 billion for 2020. The capital budget for An Garda Síochána has also been significantly increased - a total of €92 million was provided this year, representing a 50% increase on capital investment in 2018. And capital investment will increase further to €116.5 million in 2020.
This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff and as a result, An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. The budget available for 2020 will allow the Garda Commissioner to recruit up to 700 new Gardaí next year and additional Garda staff, the balance of which will be an operational matter for the Commissioner to decide.
The Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the recruitment and training of personnel. Further, the allocation of Garda resources and distribution of personnel are a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
We currently have over 14,300 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,900 Garda staff. And as part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021, there is ongoing and increased recruitment both of new Gardaí as well as Garda staff, allowing for redeployment of Gardaí to operational duties at the front-line.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current Employment Control Framework for Sergeant rank is 2,110. I am informed that as of 16 December 2019 there are 1,970 Sergeants in An Garda Síochána, leaving 140 vacancies at that rank. I am informed that these vacancies will be filled in the coming months. I am further informed that analysis of supervisory ratios across Garda Divisions will form part of this process.