622. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Justice her plans for the increase of Garda services in east County Meath given the large increase in population of the area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23707/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Deputy will be aware that, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. In addition, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. 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.
There has been a significant increase in Garda resources in Meath in recent years. I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of the end of March 2021, the latest date for which figures are available, a total of 331 Garda members were assigned to the Meath Division, in addition to 44 Garda staff. By contrast, in December 2015 there were a total of 277 Garda members and 26 Garda staff in the Division. These figures represent increases of 19% and 69% respectively.
Meath Division is one of four Divisions earmarked for the introduction of the new Garda Operating Model in the next year. With the introduction of the new Operating Model it is envisaged that there will be improvements to structures, processes, services and governance, and that there will be an increase in the number of front-line Gardaí.
A detailed breakdown of Garda numbers by division, district and station, 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 on Garda members requested may be accessed at the following link: