286. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the Garda Síochána station in Kilcock, County Kildare, including the concerns of local residents at the insufficient Garda presence in Kilcock the insufficient number of public opening hours of this station; her plans to increase the opening hours of this station; the number full-time gardaí assigned to this station; and her plans to increase the number of gardaí in County Kildare and in the Kilcock station, in particular, in the near future. [6388/16]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel and decisions in relation to Garda station opening hours and I, as Minister, have no direct role in these matters. 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 Garda Commissioner that Kilcock Garda station is open to the public from 3pm to 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 3pm to 5pm on Sundays, subject to available manpower. An increase in the opening hours of any Garda Station would necessitate the deployment of additional Garda personnel to indoor administrative duties who may be more effectively employed on outdoor policing duties. I am also advised that the matter of opening hours of sub-district stations is subject to continual review and alteration by Garda management in the context of policing priorities and resources available.
Kilcock forms part of the Leixlip District in the Kildare Division. I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that on the 29 February 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 309 Gardaí assigned to the Division, of which 78 were assigned to Leixlip District and of these 9 were assigned to Kilcock sub-District. Since the Garda College reopened in September 2014, there have been seven intakes of Garda Trainees, giving a total intake of 700 with a further 450 trainees to be recruited this year. So far 395 of the new Garda Trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to Garda stations throughout the country by the Garda Commissioner. I am informed that 20 of these newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to the Kildare Division.