101. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice the number of new gardaí that will be recruited in 2022; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51661/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I am pleased that Budget 2022 reflects the commitment of the Government that every community has the right to be safe and that An Garda Síochána has the resources to be an effective and trusted policing service.
The budget provided by Government to the Garda Commissioner continues to increase to unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.952 billion for 2021. Budget 2022 provides over €2 billion in funding. Since 2016 the budget for An Garda Siochana has increased by €500m, or 33%. This has enabled 3,340 new probationer Gardai to be deployed, as well as continued investment in modern equipment. In addition, we have freed up 800 Gardai for front line policing work through the recruitment of Garda staff.
As the Deputy may be aware, Covid-19 restrictions on the Garda Training College in Templemore constrained recruitment and training for periods over the last 18 months. However, I am glad to confirm that 450 Gardaí will be recruited this year and the funding provided for next year fully supports the sustained recruitment of Garda members and staff.
In particular, the funding announced last week includes provision for the recruitment of 800 new Garda recruits and 400 Garda staff in 2022 - an additional 1,200 personnel. This increase in the number of Garda members and staff will deliver significant growth in operational policing hours nationwide and improved services to the public generally. Redeployment of Gardaí from administrative and support roles will also continue next year, thus allowing highly trained Gardaí to focus on frontline policing duties. The organisation's capacity will be further strengthened by the recruitment of additional Garda staff, including to specialist roles to support the investigation of crime and enhance the management of the organisation .
An Garda Síochána have advised that a recruitment plan for 2022 is currently being developed to manage the recruitment processes for Garda members and Garda staff roles. I understand there are a number of successful candidates who will be called from the last competition but a new Garda Trainee competition is also being planned which will be launched before the end of this year or early next year.