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Crime Prevention

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 17 February 2022

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Ceisteanna (108)

Thomas Gould

Ceist:

108. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice her plans to increase Garda numbers in Cork given the recent attacks on women in the city and county. [8725/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Violent crime, including domestic, sexual and gender based violence, can never be tolerated. Such crimes are terrifying both for the victim themselves and the entire community. I can assure the Deputy that my Department is committed to ensuring that there is strong, visible community policing right across Ireland, in both rural and urban areas.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the general management and administration of the Garda organisation under the Garda Síochána Act 2005. This includes the deployment of Garda members throughout the State. I am assured 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 them, having regard to the profile of each area within the Division and its specific needs. As Minister, I have no role in these independent functions.

The budget provided by Government to the Garda Commissioner continues to increase to unprecedented levels, with an allocation in excess of €2 billion for 2022, which includes funding for the recruitment of up to 800 additional Garda trainees and 400 Garda staff. This significant investment demonstrates the Government's commitment to increasing the Garda workforce to enable the organisation to keep our communities safe, including in Cork city, and to preventing crime in all its forms. The Deputy will be aware that a new Garda recruitment campaign commenced last week and I would encourage anyone with an interest in joining An Garda Síochána to apply.

I can inform the Deputy that as at 31 January 2022, the latest date for which figures are available, there are 734 Garda members assigned to Cork City Garda Division, an increase of 12.7% per cent since the end of 2015, when there were 651 Gardaí assigned to that Division. In addition there are 120 civilian Garda staff, an increase of approximately 103% since the end of 2015, when there 59 civilian Garda staff assigned to the Division.

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