Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Justice and Equality
111. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number and position of gardaí and community gardaí stationed in the Dublin metropolitan region west in each of the years 2009 to 2016, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51493/17]
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 on the 31 October 2017 the latest date for which figures are readily available the strength of the Dublin Metropolitan Region West Division was 665, 64 of whom were Community Gardaí. There are also 26 Garda Reserves and 50 civilians attached to the Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, the Armed Support Units and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
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 to deter crime. The substantial increase in Garda numbers is tangible progress on achieving this Government’s vision of an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.
I am informed by the Commissioner that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, close to 1,400 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, 119 of whom have been assigned to the D.M.R. West Division. In addition, another 200 trainee Garda are scheduled to attest this Friday which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, increase to around the 13,500 mark by year end - an increase of 500 since the end of 2016.
I am pleased to say that Budget 2018 will support the continuation of this high level of investment in the Garda workforce and ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track. A further 800 new Garda Recruits will enter the Garda College, an additional 500 civilians will also be recruited to fill critical skills gaps across the organisation and to facilitate the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative and technical duties to front-line operational duties. There are plans to strengthen the Garda Reserve with new Reserves expected to commence training early in 2018.
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 needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division, including the D.M.R. West Division, in the coming years.
I am informed by the Commissioner that the Garda strength and the Community Garda Strength of the D.M.R. West Division by rank, in each of the years 2009 to 2016 and up to 31 October 2017, the latest date for which figures are available from An Garda Síochána is as set out in the following link.Table 1