80. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí allocated to each Garda station in the Kildare north district in each of the years 2008 to 2017 and to date in 2018; the Garda rank allocation within each Garda station in the Kildare north district, for example, the number of gardaí, sergeants, detectives, superintendents and chief superintendents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5416/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. 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 Commissioner that the Garda strength of the Kildare Division on 31 December 2017, the latest date for which figures are currently available was 360, an increase of 48 since 31 December 2015, with 20 Garda Reserves and 30 Garda civilian staff also attached to the Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Armed Support Units, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. To achieve this the Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. We are making real, tangible progress on achieving this goal.
I am informed by the Commissioner that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, just under 1,600 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 80 have been assigned to the Kildare Division. I am pleased to say that Garda numbers, taking account of retirements, increased to 13,551 at the end of 2017 - an increase of over 600 since the end of 2016.
I am also pleased that funding is in place to maintain this high level of investment in the Garda workforce to ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track. This year a further 800 new Garda Recruits will enter the Garda College. Also 800 Garda trainees are scheduled to attest during the year which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, reach 14,000 by the end of 2018.
In addition, a further 500 civilians will also be recruited to fill critical skills gaps across the organisation and to facilitate the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative and technical duties to front-line operational duties. There are plans to strengthen the Garda Reserve with new Reserves expected to commence training early in 2018.
This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Division, including the Kildare Division.
The information as requested by the Deputy in relation to the number of Gardaí assigned by rank to Celbridge, Clane , Kilcock, Kill, Leixlip, Maynooth and Naas Garda Stations in each of the years 2008-2017, and as of 31 December 2017, the latest date for which figures are currently available, is as set out as follows:
Celbridge Garda Station 2008-2017
Clane Garda Station 2008-2017
Kilcock Garda Station 2008-2017
Kill Garda Station 2008-2112*
* Kill Garda station was closed on foot of the Garda Síochána District and Station Rationalisation Programme.
Leixlip Garda Station 2008-2017
Maynooth Garda Station 2008-2017
Naas Garda Station 2008-2017