Written answers

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Garda Deployment

Thomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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279. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of road traffic units assigned by Garda district to County Cork in each of the years 2015 to 2019 inclusive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12766/20]

Thomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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280. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of road traffic units assigned by Garda district in County Cork. [12767/20]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 279 and 280 together.

The Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. This includes responsibility for personnel matters and the distribution of personnel across the various Garda Divisions. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

The resources provided to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2020 of €1.88 billion. This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff. As at 31 May 2020, there are now 14,700 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 3,000 Garda staff and these numbers are continuing to grow.

This total figure includes the Garda trainees from two separate intake classes who attested earlier than scheduled in March 2020, following an operational decision by the Garda Commissioner to augment An Garda Síochána's capacity to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is important to note that road traffic legislation is enforced as part of the day-to-day duties of all members of An Garda Síochána, as well as through specific enforcement operations.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the strength of Roads Policing Units on the 31 May 2020, the latest date for which figures are available, stood at 736.

I understand that the Commissioner established the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau to ensure a consistent approach to road safety and enforcement of road traffic legislation across the country. This is achieved through coordination of enforcement and development of policy based on research and analysis of statistics and by engaging in campaigns in partnership with other State agencies.

I understand that in addition to a focus on the lifesaver offences of speeding, seatbelts, mobile phones and driving under the influence, Divisional Roads Policing Units work closely with other relevant Divisional Units to target known criminals and to disrupt their activities through strict enforcement of road traffic legislation.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are 6 Roads Policing Units in the Divisions across County Cork.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that as at 31 May 2020 there were 84 Garda members assigned to the Roads Policing across the three Garda Divisions in Co. Cork (33 in Cork City, 27 in Cork North and 24 in Cork West).

I am further informed that for the period referred to by the Deputy (2015-end June 2020), there have been 6 Roads Policing Units in the Garda Divisions in County Cork. I understand these are located in Cork City (at Anglesea Street as a Divisional RPU), Cork North (Fermoy, Mallow, Middleton) and Cork West (at Bandon and Macroom).

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