313. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the extent to which juvenile liaison officers have been allocated to each Garda district throughout the country; the ongoing plans in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58163/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the law for the management and administration of Garda business, including matters relating to the deployment of Garda personnel. As Minister, I have no direct role in this process.
I am advised by the Garda Authorities that Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLOs) are specially trained to fulfil a key role in implementing the Garda Diversion Programme. Their role includes the administration of formal and informal cautions as well as appropriate supervision of children who have been admitted to the Diversion Programme, as provided in Part 4 of the Children Act 2001. The below table, furnished to me by the Garda Authorities, details the number of JLOs allocated to each Division.
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I am delighted that Budget 2022 includes funding for the recruitment of 800 new Garda recruits and 400 Garda staff in 2022 - a further additional 1,200 personnel, subject to the public health situation. This planned increase in the number of Garda members and staff is designed to deliver significant growth in operational policing hours nationwide and improved public safety and services to the public generally. Deployment of these resources is of course a matter for the Garda Commissioner.