367. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the community garda numbers by Garda district as of 1 June 2019; the corresponding number for 1 June in each of the years 2014 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31356/19]
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.
Community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána as it recognises that every community, either urban or rural, has its own concerns and expectations. The role of a community Garda is not a specialist role in An Garda Síochána; rather it is the case that all Gardaí have a role to play in community policing in carrying out their duties. The official categorisation of Community Garda simply refers to those who are exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities and civil society including giving talks to schools, community groups and others. It is a matter for the Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimum distribution of duties among the personnel available to him or her having regard to the profile of the area and its specific needs.
As Community Garda are assigned on a Garda Divisional basis, I am informed by the Commissioner that a breakdown by District as requested by the Deputy is not readily available.
However, the strength of the Community Garda by Division, in each of the years 2009 to 31 May 2019 is available on my Department’s website through the link below.
For general information on Garda Facts and Figures below is the link to the website