Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the various Garda stations throughout the country in both urban and rural areas can expect to benefit from new Garda recruits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42721/18]
122. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the various Garda stations in the various towns throughout County Kildare can expect to benefit from new Garda recruits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42722/18]
131. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the criteria applicable to the deployment or redeployment of gardaí to the various divisions throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42731/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 121, 122 and 131 together.
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.
I am informed that the Cohort model of resource allocation has been in use by Garda management since 2015 and is currently the model utilised for the allocation of personnel within An Garda Síochána, including newly attested probationer Gardaí from the Garda College. The model is a dynamic distribution model and aims to impose a numerical/mathematical measure on the policing needs of each Division nationwide. The allocation and transfer of Garda Personnel, is determined by a number of factors, including crime and non-crime workload, population, area, policing arrangements, operational strategies and transfers applications, including welfare issues. When allocation of resources is under review, comprehensive consultation is carried out with local Garda management during which all relevant factors are taken into consideration. Where a deficiency in resources is identified the matter is considered fully and addressed accordingly.
In relation to the allocation of newly attested Gardaí, it has to be factored in that they 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 are properly supported and supervised and have opportunities to gain the breadth of policing experience required, 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 their responsibilities under the training programme.
Garda recruitment effectively ended in 2010 and did not resume till September 2014 when the Government reopened the Garda College in Templemore once the economy had stabilised. I am informed by the Commissioner that since then 2,200 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. I am pleased that the strength of An Garda Síochána will reach over 14,000 members by the end of 2018 for the first time in many years.
I strongly welcome the funding provided in Budget 2019 for the recruitment of up to 800 Garda recruits next year, along with necessary civilian Garda staff. This ongoing recruitment will provide the Commissioner with the resources both in terms of the increase in new Gardaí and the redeployment of Gardaí to frontline policing duties following civilianisation of their roles. The net benefit of this is the increased Garda visibility and a greater response to the policing needs of communities in every Garda Division including the Kildare Division.
The information in relation to the number of Gardaí assigned to each Garda Station in each Division and the number of new recruits allocated to each Garda Station is available on my Department’s website through the following links, as supplied by the Commissioner. www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_August_2018.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_August_2018.xlsx.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link: www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures.