291. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Justice the number of community policing Gardaí attached to each station in County Wicklow in each of the past five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18071/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I can inform the Deputy that An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented budget of €1.952 billion for 2021. The significant level of funding provided over recent years is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff. As a result, there are now approximately 14,600 Garda members and over 3,000 Garda staff nationwide.
The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no role in such decisions. 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 table below, which has been provided to me by the Garda authorities, sets out the number of community Gardaí assigned to Wicklow Division as at end December 2016 to end December 2020 and as at 28 February 2021, the latest date for which figures are available.
A detailed breakdown of the Garda workforce, including the national distribution of Community Gardaí, is available on my Department’s website, in the interests of transparency and for the convenience of Deputies and the wider public. This information is updated every month with the latest data provided by An Garda Síochána. The Information requested in relation to Community Garda may be accessed along with information about the wider Garda workforce at the following link:
It is important to note that to date, the official categorisation as a Community Garda has simply referred to those exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities and civil society including giving talks to schools, community groups and others. However, the Deputy will appreciate that it is important to consider that community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána and all Gardaí have a role to play in community policing in carrying out their duties. Indeed, this is fundamental to the new Garda Operating Model recommended by the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and currently being rolled out under 'A Policing Service for Our Future', the Government's implementation plan for the Commission's recommendations.