341. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number and rank of new Garda personnel appointed to the Naas district in the past three months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28063/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters, and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps the 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 Commissioner that the Cohort Model of resource allocation is currently used for the allocation of personnel within An Garda Síochána, including newly attested probationer Gardaí from the Garda College. Using this model, the allocation and transfer of Garda Personnel is determined by a number of factors, including crime and non-crime workload, minimum establishment, population, area, policing arrangements, and operational strategies. When considering the allocation of resources to a Division, comprehensive consultation is carried out with local Garda management during which all factors are taken into consideration.
In relation to the allocation of newly attested Gardaí, it is important to keep in mind that they have a further 16 months of practical and class-room based training to complete in order to receive their BA in Applied Policing. To ensure that they are properly supported and supervised and have opportunities to gain the breadth of policing experience required, the Commissioner's policy is to allocate them to specially designated training stations which have the required training and development structures and resources in place, including trained Garda tutors and access to a permanently appointed supervisory Sergeant who is thoroughly familiar with their responsibilities under the training programme.
I am further informed by the Commissioner that while not all Garda Stations are training stations it is important to note that the allocation of probationer Gardaí to a Divisional training station facilitates the reassignment of Gardaí to other stations within the Division, if required, by the Divisional Officer.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,800 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 118 were assigned to the Kildare Garda Division. This year to date, two intakes of probationer Gardaí have attested and been allocated on the 8 March, and the 10 June respectively. Six newly attested Gardaí were allocated to the Kildare Division in March 2019: two to Kildare Garda Station, two to Leixlip Garda Station and two to Naas Garda Station. The allocation of resources within the Division is the responsibility of the Divisional Officer.
The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has now informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and 600 Garda Civilian Staff. This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.
I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions including the Kildare Division.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link