147. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice the number of gardaí in the DMR north as of 1 November 2021 or the latest date available; the number in the 12 months previously; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57946/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), for the management and administration of Garda business, including the recruitment and training of Garda members and staff. The Commissioner is also responsible, under the Act, for the deployment of Gardaí throughout the State. As Minister, I play no role in these independent functions.
I am advised that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review to ensure their optimum use in light of emerging crime trends and identified operational needs.
As of the 31 October 2021, the latest date that figures are available for, I am advised that the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) North has a strength of 781 members of all ranks. This is a reduction of 7, or 0.8%, compared to 31 October 2020, when the division had a strength of 788 members. Notwithstanding this small decrease over the last twelve months, the current strength remains an increase of 113 members, or 16.9%, since the end of 2015, when there were 668 members of all ranks assigned to the Division.
As the Deputy will appreciate, public health restrictions have also had an unavoidable impact on the Garda College over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I am pleased to note that recruitment has resumed and that 385 trainees are engaged in their training following intakes in May, July, September and earlier this month.
Furthermore, budget 2022 has provided an unprecedented allocation of in excess of €2 billion to An Garda Síochána, which includes funding for the recruitment of up to an additional 800 Gardaí and a further 400 Garda staff, subject to the public health situation. This significant investment demonstrates the Government's commitment to increasing the Garda workforce to enable the organisation to keep our communities safe.
For the Deputy's information, detailed statistics on Garda workforce numbers are published on my Department's website and updated on a monthly basis.