Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Department of Justice and Equality
69. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in each Garda station in County Limerick as of 30 June 2017; and the number of new recruits assigned to the division since recruitment resumed in 2014. [32855/17]
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. Funding has also been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves.
Last Thursday a class of 198 Garda trainees attested as members of An Garda Síochána - the largest class to attest since the Garda College reopened in September 2014. This brings the number of new recruits who have attested since the College reopened to almost 1,200, with another four hundred scheduled to attest later this year. This will bring Garda numbers to 13,500 by year-end once projected retirements are taken into account - an increase of 500 over last year. This is real progress on reaching our target of 15,000 members by 2021.
This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources she needs to allow her to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division, including the Limerick Division in the coming years.
This investment in personnel 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 have no doubt that these new resources now coming on stream will see an increase in Garda visibility in our communities.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources. I am informed by the Commissioner that 33newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to the Limerick Division since the College reopened.
For the Deputy's information I have set out in the table, as provided by the Commissioner, the number of Gardaí assigned to the Limerick Division by station as of 31 May 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available.
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