230. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in the national drugs unit in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of gardaí working in local drugs units in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24900/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters, and I, as Minister, do not have responsibility for this matter. Garda management keeps the 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 resources.
I have been informed by the Commissioner that the additional resources coming on stream have enabled him to assign resources to Specialist Bureaus such as the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau. This Bureau leads on the strategy for tackling drugs and works with Garda Divisional Drug Units nationwide in demand reduction and supply reduction at local level.
An Garda Síochána remains resolute in its determination to act against those within society who pose a significant threat to the welfare and well-being of our citizens and the communities they serve. All Gardaí have a responsibility in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of drug offences crime or otherwise. A core focus of the work carried out by An Garda Síochána is aimed at tackling drugs and organised crime.
I am informed by the Commissioner that the information requested by the Deputy is not readily available in the format requested, as Drugs Unit Personnel are assigned on a Garda Divisional basis.
For the Deputy's information, I have set out below in the attached link, the number of Gardaí by Division attached to the Drugs Unit in each of the years from 2008 until 30 April 2019 (the latest date for which figures are readily available), as provided by the Commissioner.
Drugs Unit Personnel by Division 2008 -2019
https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2019-06-18_pq230-18-6-19_en.xlsx">drug unit personnel
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link: