Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Department of Justice and Equality
62. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda stations and the number of gardaí in each in west Cork on 31 October 2010 and on 31 October 2016; the proportion of the proposed 800 additional recruits in 2017 that are likely to be assigned to west Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34692/16]
This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. To make this a reality for all, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. In 2017, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Appointments will also be made to the Garda Reserve of approximately 300.
Taking account of projected retirements, reaching a strength of 15,000 will require some 3,200 new Garda members to be recruited on a phased basis over the next four years in addition to the 1,200 that will have been recruited by the end of this year since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014. This is an ambitious target and will require a continuous pipeline of suitable candidates. I am pleased to say that the recruitment campaign launched by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Commissioner last September, the second campaign this year, again received a strong response.
Since the reopening of the Garda College, 534 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. I am informed that of these, 5 have been assigned to the West Cork Division. Another 150 trainee Garda will attest this Thursday, 17 November which will bring Garda numbers to around the 13,000 mark by year end.
In so far as the allocation of newly attest Gardaí next year is concerned, this is a matter for the Garda Commissioner and I, as Minister has no direct role in it. I am assured by the Commissioner that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered when determining the allocation of resources. However, it is important to keep in mind that newly attested Gardaí have a further 16 months of practical and class-room based training to complete in order to receive their BA in Applied Policing. To ensure that they are properly supported and supervised and have opportunities to gain the breadth of policing experience required, the Commissioner's policy is to allocate them to specially designated training stations which have the required structures and resources in place, including Garda tutors.
The Government's plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. The Deputy will be aware of the significant resources that have been made available to An Garda Síochána under the Government's Capital Plan 2016 - 2021. In particular, some €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT and €46 million for new Garda vehicles has been allocated over the lifetime of the plan. This investment will facilitate the provision of more effective policing services and I expect that the West Cork Division, like all other Garda Divisions will benefit from these new resources becoming available.
For ease of reference I have provided a breakdown of the detailed information requested in relation to the number of Garda stations and number of Garda assigned to the West Cork Division on 31 October 2010 and 30 September 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, for the record.
|CORK WEST DIVISION 31 OCT 2010|
|CORK WEST TOTAL||43 Stations||318|
|CORK WEST DIVISION 30 SEPT 2016|
|MACROOM DISTRICT||BAILE BHUIRNE||2|
|BÉAL ÁTHA AN GHAORTHA||2|
|CORK WEST TOTAL||29 Stations||277|