133. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the necessary funding will be provided to ensure that the Garda public order unit in DMR north is on a full-time basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24500/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): There has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021; and investment of €46 million in the Garda Fleet over the same period. This continuing investment supports the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. 
In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation of Garda resources, in light of his identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters. I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, so as to ensure their optimum use.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the DMR North Division continues to tackle incidents of public order, anti-social behaviour and the prevention of serious crime escalating further by working with communities to reduce this type of behaviour. Gardaí engage in a range of partnership approaches to address local concerns and hold clinics in the Districts on a regular basis.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that while there are no members assigned to full-time public order duties, there are Gardaí with specialist training in public order policing in each Division.  These Garda members are only required to perform public order duties when operational demands require their deployment, otherwise they are engaged in routine policing duties. The DMR North Division has received operational support from the National Public Order Unit and continues to receive public order support when, and if, the need arises. I am further informed by the Garda authorities that there are no plans to establish a full time Public Order Unit in the DMR North Division. 
Local Management continues to review resources in the DMR North Division to ensure sufficient policing services are provided. Recent promotion competitions have seen members promoted to Inspector and Sergeant Ranks, which has resulted in the DMR North Division receiving 10 new Inspectors and 20 Sergeants. Local Garda Management are satisfied that the current strength in the DMR North Division is being optimised to ensure policing services are provided to the community.