185. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice the number of gardaí that will enter training in 2022. [50043/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible, under Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended) for the management and administration of Garda business, including the recruitment and training of Garda members and staff. As Minister I play no role in this independent function.
Budget 2022 commits to the recruitment of an additional 800 Gardaí next year and to the recruitment of an additional 400 Garda staff.
Garda numbers have increased substantially in recent years, from 12,943 Garda members and 1,999 Garda staff in 2016 to almost 14,400 Garda members and 3,159 staff at the end of August this year. That is an 8% increase in Gardaí and a 58% increase in Garda staff in recent years.
The 800 extra Gardaí in Budget 2022 also means that, by the end of 2022, there will be an estimated 14,600 fully attested members of An Garda Síochána and 600 in training - putting us on course to meet and beat our target of 15,000 sworn members of Garda Síochána.
Budget 2020 will bring the total number of Garda staff to 3,800, the highest ever number – ensuring that more Gardaí can focus on core policing duties rather than administration.
Since 2017, 820 Gardaí have been freed up for core policing duties because of the recruitment of staff in An Garda Síochána.
An Garda Síochána have advised that a recruitment plan for 2022 is currently being developed to reflect planned recruitment for Garda Members and Garda Staff roles. It is currently planned to launch a Garda Trainee competition in Q4 2021.