418. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will increase the number of gardaí stationed in a town (details supplied) in County Meath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34174/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of personnel among the Garda Regions, Divisions, and Districts. Garda management keep this distribution under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of resources.
I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that, as of the 31 August 2015 the latest date for which figures are readily available, 280 members of An Garda Síochána are assigned to the Meath Garda Division of which 16 are stationed in Dunboyne Garda station. The work of these Gardaí is supported by 35 Garda Reserve members and 25 civilian staff. The work of local Gardaí in the Meath Division is augmented when necessary by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). Organised criminal activity is currently being targeted by An Garda Síochána across a number of fronts, including the use of focused intelligence-led operations by specialist units such as the Drugs and Organised Crime Unit and CAB.
This Government is committed to the ongoing recruitment of trainee Gardaí, and to this end the first intake since 2009 of new recruits commenced training at the Garda College, Templemore, in September of last year. To date there has been four intakes of Garda Trainees into the Garda College, giving a total intake of 400. A further 150 recruits will enter the college by year end, bringing total recruitment of Garda Trainees to 550. So far 290 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 assured by Garda management that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered, including the Meath Division, when determining the allocation of newly attested Gardaí.