Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Justice and Equality

An Garda Síochána

Photo of Paul DonnellyPaul Donnelly (Dublin West, Sinn Fein)
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252. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí, by rank attached to each community policing unit in each Garda district within DMR as of 14 March 2024, in tabular form. [13374/24]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána, and all Gardaí have a role to play in community policing in the course of carrying out their duties. Community policing is also fundamental to the new Garda Operating Model which is currently being rolled out across the country, and is fully commenced in ten Garda divisions.

The new model will provide more frontline Gardaí and increased Garda visibility, and will deliver a wider range of policing services for people in their local area. It will divide service delivery within divisions into four functional areas, one of the most important areas being Community Engagement. This will allow for a greater, more consistent, focus on community policing in all divisions.

The Garda authorities have advised that a member of An Garda Síochána can be deemed to be a ‘Community Garda’ where that person is allocated to a Community Policing Team (CPT) and is responsible and accountable for applying a problem–solving approach to appropriate crime and policing quality-of-life issues in a specified geographic area through partnership and engagement.

I very much welcome the new interactive map launched recently on the Garda website which is designed to allow the public to identify the local CPT in their area. This map will continue to develop in line with the continued rollout of the new Garda Operating Model.

While there are designated CPTs within An Garda Síochána, It is important to note that the number of Gardaí assigned to those teams is not an accurate reflection of the number of Gardaí who are carrying out community policing work on a daily basis around the country.

Community Policing Teams strategically manage and lead the development, delivery and evaluation of the Garda Community Policing Framework, and, as I have said, Gardaí assigned to those teams are deemed to be ‘Community Gardaí’. Like other Garda members they also have dual functions. In addition to their strategic roles in their Community Policing Teams, part of which requires them to regularly update their Community Engagement Superintendent on the policing needs of their community, and they are also frontline members.

However, it is important to note that CPTs draw on all frontline Gardaí to carry out community policing. Therefore, just because a Garda may not specifically be deemed a 'Community Garda' by virtue of the fact that they are not assigned to a Community Policing Team, that does not mean that they do not carry out crucial work in that area.

Given the organisational and structural changes outlined above which are a natural consequence of the introduction of the new Garda Operating Model, the provision of number of ‘Community Gardaí’ no longer gives an accurate picture of the number of Gardaí carrying out what was traditionally understood to be the role of the ‘Community Garda’.

As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the administration and management of An Garda Síochána, including the distribution and stationing of Garda members throughout the State. As Minister, I have no role in such matters.

I am however assured that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review to ensure their optimal use.

For the Deputy's information, the number of Community Gardaí by Division from 2008 until February 2024 is published on my Department's website and can be accessed using the following link: www.gov.ie/en/publication/bd777-an-garda-siochana-your-police-service-some-facts-and-figures/.

Please be advised that this information is operational and may be subject to change.


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