Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí of each rank attached to Sundrive and Terenure Garda stations for each of the past ten years. [8579/18]
248. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of probationary and newly-commissioned gardaí that have been stationed at Sundrive and Terenure Garda stations in the past four years. [8580/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 248 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.
The Deputy will be aware that Sundrive Road and Terenure Garda Stations are located in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) South Division. I am informed by the Commissioner that the strength of the DMR South Division on 31 December 2017 was 532. There are also 20 Garda Reserves and 36 Garda civilian staff attached to the DMR South Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the Armed Support Units, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. To achieve this the Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. We are making real, tangible progress on achieving this goal.
I am informed by the Commissioner that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, just under 1,600 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 118 have been assigned to the DMR South Division with 16 and 14 assigned to Sundrive Road and Terenure Garda Stations respectively. I am pleased to say that Garda numbers, taking account of retirements, increased to 13,551 at the end of 2017 - a net increase of over 600 since the end of 2016.
I am also pleased that funding is in place to maintain this high level of investment in the Garda workforce to ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track. This year a further 800 new Garda Recruits will enter the Garda College. Also 800 Garda trainees are scheduled to attest during the year which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, reach 14,000 by the end of 2018.
In addition, a further 500 civilians will also be recruited to fill critical skills gaps across the organisation and to facilitate the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative and technical duties to front-line operational duties. There are plans to strengthen the Garda Reserve with new Reserves expected to commence training in 2018.
In so far as the allocation of newly attested Gardaí is concerned, this is a matter for the Commissioner. I am assured by the Commissioner 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 classroom 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.
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 deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Division, including the DMR South Division.
For the Deputy’s information I have set out in tabular form the strength by rank of Terenure and Sundrive Road Garda stations as provided by the Commissioner, in each of the years 2007-2017.
|TERENURE GARDA STATION STRENGTH 2007-2017|
|SUNDRIVE ROAD STRENGTH 2007-2017|