292. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of extra gardaí who were attached to the Garda Síochána R and J districts in 2015 and 2016 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6450/16]
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, among the various Garda Divisions and Districts, and I as Minister have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keep 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.
The Garda Síochána J (Raheny, Clontarf and Howth) and R (Coolock, Malahide and Swords) Districts are part of the Garda Division of Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) North. I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that on the 31 December 2015 there were 197 and 159 Gardaí attached to the Garda Síochána R and J Districts, respectively. On the 29 February 2016, the latest date for which figures are available there were 196 and 159 Gardaí attached to the Garda Síochána R and J Districts, respectively.
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 to be recruited this year. So far 395 of the new Garda Trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána. On attestation, new Probationer Gardaí are assigned to Garda stations throughout the country by the Garda Commissioner, where they are assigned to mainstream uniform policing duties. I am informed that 29 of these newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to the DMR North Division. Of these, 4 new Garda members were assigned to District J and 5 new members were assigned to District R.