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Question

389. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the action she proposes to take to ensure that members of An Garda Síochána are adequately protected against the activities of criminal gangs, or others who have threatened members of the force; if adequate resources continue to be made available to An Garda Síochána in the face of such threats; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18183/15]

391. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will indicate, in the context of meeting enhanced policing requests in each Garda district or division in County Kildare, the extent to which she and-or her Department has identified any issues which might effect the provision of adequate policing in any part of the county; if Garda numbers need to be increased to combat the activities of criminal gangs; if any audit has been done to determine whether a new Garda station, with sufficient personnel, is required in the Carbury area, which has suffered the effects of crime in recent times; if an increase in Garda numbers can be arranged in the areas most severely affected by major or minor criminal activity; if steps will be taken to address these issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18215/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 389 and 391 together.
I am, of course, aware of the issues referred to concerning threats made against members of the Garda Síochána, which I utterly condemn.
As the Deputy is aware, it would not be appropriate for me to detail the operational measures that the Garda authorities have taken or would take generally in the these situations. However, I can assure the Deputy that whatever protective and detection measures are deemed appropriate by the Garda authorities will certainly be taken. I should also say that while the criminal law in this area is being kept under ongoing review, there is a range of robust legislative provisions available to the Garda authorities in circumstances where threats or assaults are made against Gardaí.
In relation to the question of Garda resources and the particular policing strategies in the areas referred to, the Deputy will appreciate that these are matters for the Garda Commissioner. I am informed that the number of Gardaí assigned to the Kildare Division as of 31 March was 299 Gardaí, of which 73 were in the Leixlip District which includes Carbury Garda Station, where there were 5 Gardaí assigned. Two additional Gardaí have recently been assigned to Carbury. I am assured that the allocation of overall Garda resources is kept under continuing review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure these resources are put to the best possible use.
I can also inform the Deputy that, thanks to the resumption of Garda recruitment, the Commissioner now has the capacity to deploy new Gardaí for the first time since 2009 and five new probationer Gardaí have been assigned to the Kildare Garda Division. Similarly, investments are being made in vehicles and IT, and in the recruitment of specialist professional staff. Policing and community safety in Kildare will undoubtedly benefit from this injection of resources, as it will in all other Garda Divisions.