Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí by rank attached to the Kildare drugs unit as of 24 May 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23245/19]
304. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí by rank attached to the Kildare roads policing unit as of 24 May 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23246/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 303 and 304 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters, and I, as Minister, do not have responsibility for this 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 resources.
I have been informed by the Commissioner that the additional resources coming on stream have enabled him to assign resources to Specialist Bureaus such as the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau. This Bureau leads on the strategy for tackling drugs and works with Garda Divisional Drug Units nationwide in demand reduction and supply reduction at local level.
An Garda Síochána remains resolute in its determination to act against those within society who pose a significant threat to the welfare and well-being of our citizens and the communities they serve. All Gardaí have a responsibility in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of drug offences crime or otherwise. A core focus of the work carried out by An Garda Síochána is aimed at tackling drugs and organised crime.
The number of Gardaí by rank attached to the Kildare Drugs Unit as of 30 April 2019 (the latest date for which figures are readily available) was 11, of whom 2 were Sergeants and 9 were Gardaí.
In 2017 the Commissioner established the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau (GNRPB) to ensure a consistent approach to road safety and enforcement of road traffic legislation across the country. This is achieved through coordination of enforcement and development of policy based on research and analysis of statistics and by engaging in campaigns in partnership with other State Agencies.
Furthermore, the Divisional Garda Traffic Corps have been re-named Garda Road Policing Units, to reflect the role the Units will play in denying criminals the use of the roads network. In addition to the Roads Policing Units focusing on the lifesaver offences of speeding, seatbelts, mobile phones and driving under the influence, they will also focus on crime prevention and crime detection. Divisional Roads Policing Units will work closely with other Divisional units to target known criminals and to disrupt their activities through strict enforcement of road traffic legislation.
The strength of the Kildare Roads Policing Unit as of the 30 April 2019 (the latest date for which figures are readily available) was 27, of whom 2 were Sergeants and 25 were Gardaí.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link.