Wednesday, 23 May 2018
38. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that the Garda cybercrime bureau has sufficient resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22645/18]
This question is related to the previous question posed by Deputy Aindrias Moynihan. I want to find out the level of resources that have been allocated to the Garda's cybercrime bureau. As the Minister knows, the bureau was set up in September 2016 and it plays a vital role in ensuring that cybercrime is properly investigated. I await the Minister's response with regard to the resources for same.
I should say at the outset that the distribution of Garda personnel is exclusively the statutory responsibility of the Garda Commissioner. That said, I am informed by the acting Commissioner, on foot of a review of the computer crime investigation unit under the modernisation programme, that An Garda Síochána has the capacity and capability to deal with cybercrime and cybersecurity threats.
The cybercrime bureau is under the direction of the assistant commissioner, special crime operations and is part of the Garda national economic crime bureau headed by a detective chief superintendent. The bureau has responsibility for the forensic examination of all seized computer media, international liaison regarding cyber matters and the investigation of cybercrime. Cases examined include all crime types including banking and financial crime matters in particular, as well as the examination of equipment and media to assess images in the context of offences relating to child pornography and exploitation.
I am informed that as of 30 April, the latest date for which figures are currently available, the number of personnel attached to the bureau was 33, including one detective superintendent, one detective inspector, six detective sergeants, 21 detective gardaí, one higher executive officer, one executive officer and two clerical officers. Approximately 120 replacement and additional personnel have been assigned to the specialist units that have formed the special crime operation since 2017. The bureau has benefited from some of these additional resources. I understand that this has allowed some backlogs of cases to be progressed and for many outstanding cases to be completed. This is tangible evidence of the Government's focus on rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of gardaí and civilian staff across the country.