217. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of the 200 new Garda recruits allocated to the Kilmainham, Sundrive, Kevin Street, Ballyfermot and Crumlin Garda stations. [17368/19]
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.
In so far as the allocation of newly attested Gardaí is concerned, this is a matter for the Commissioner and I am assured by him that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered when determining the allocation of resources. However, it is important to keep in mind that newly attested Gardaí have a further 16 months of practical and class-room based training to complete in order to receive their BA in Applied Policing. To ensure that they have the opportunities to gain the breadth of policing experience required and are properly supported and supervised, the Commissioner's policy is to allocate them to specially designated training stations which have the required training and development structures and resources in place, including trained Garda tutors and access to a permanently appointed supervisory Sergeant who is thoroughly familiar with the responsibilities under the training programme.
This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to allow the deployment of increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide.
I am informed by the Commissioner that the Cohort model of resource allocation is currently utilised for the general allocation of personnel within An Garda Síochána, including newly attested probationer Gardaí from the Garda College. The allocation and transfer of Garda Personnel, using the Cohort Model, is determined by a number of factors, including, crime and non-crime workload; minimum establishment; population; area; policing arrangements; operational strategies and transfer applications, including welfare issues. When allocations are taking place, comprehensive consultation is conducted with Local Management during which all factors are taken into consideration. Where a deficiency in resources is identified the matter is considered fully and addressed accordingly.
The information requested by the Deputy as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the following link.
The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has now informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and a net 600 Garda Civilian Staff. This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.
On-going recruitment will provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the link: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures