Filter

Question

135. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost of running the Garda public order unit; the cost for the Dublin region; the number of Garda personnel working for the unit; the number of Garda personnel working for the unit in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18194/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, 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, to ensure their optimum use.
The Deputy raised a number of questions relating to the cost and staffing involved in public order policing.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the costs associated with the running of Public Order Units are not accounted for separately but rather are included in the total cost of running Garda Divisions. As a result, I am informed that it is not currently possible to isolate the costs in respect of the Garda Public Order Units.
Regarding personnel, I am informed by the Garda authorities that 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.  I am further informed that the Garda National Public Order Unit, GNPOU, is not a full time unit. Members trained in public order are deployed from across the organisation on a case-by-case basis if and when the need arises.
For the Deputy’s information, the following table as provided by the Garda authorities sets out the number of Garda members who are qualified to operate in the Garda National Public Order Unit in both the Dublin Metropolitan Region and nationally, correct as of 17 April 2019.

- -
Dublin Metropolitan Region 635
Nationwide excluding the Dublin Metropolitan Region 537
Total 1172