Thursday, 10 September 2020

Ceisteanna (175)

Ruairí Ó Murchú

Ceist:

175. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Justice the resources being allocated to An Garda Síochána to deal with the Covid-19 situation as restrictions ease. [23179/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented budget of €1.88 billion for 2020, as well as capital funding of over €116 million this year. 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 with approximately 14,700 Garda members and over 3,000 Garda staff nationwide.

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management and control of An Garda Síochána. This includes responsibility for the allocation of all Garda resources and I as Minister have no role in these matters.

In common with many other public service organisations An Garda Síochána has incurred additional expenditure related to Covid 19, including expenditure on Personal Protective Equipment, vehicles, and enhanced ICT capability.

These expenditure needs are being monitored on an ongoing basis in the context of overall management of the Garda Vote but I am satisfied that the necessary resources will be available to enable An Garda Síochána to continue to effectively fulfil its role in the evolving response to Covid 19.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51
I refer to Parliamentary Question Number 175 which was for answer on 10 September 2020 where you requested information on the resources being allocated to An Garda Síochána to deal with the Covid-19 situation as restrictions ease.
A substantive answer was provided to you, but in light of your clarification, I would like to provide the following additional information in relation to community policing units in Co. Louth.
Firstly, I would like to inform you 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:
http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures
I can confirm that as of 31 July 2020 there were 16 Community Gardaí assigned to the Louth Division.
As you 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 demand. This includes deployment of personnel among the various Garda Divisions and 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.
I trust this information is of assistance.