145. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which it is expected to increase the strength of An Garda Síochána at all stations throughout north County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4664/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware, the manner in which the resources of the Garda Síochána are deployed is solely a matter for the Garda Commissioner and his management team and I, as Minister, have no direct role in this regard. I am informed by the Commissioner that 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 resources.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, just under 2,400 recruits have attested as members and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide including 800 trainees who passed out from the college during 2018.
The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year.
The Commissioner has informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and, in conjunction, he intends to recruit a net 600 Garda Civilian Staff. This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.
The Garda Commissioner has confirmed that the Government’s commitment to increase the overall strength of An Garda Síochána to 15,000 Garda members will be achieved by the target date of 2021.
The Garda strength of the Kildare Division as of 31 December 2018 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the the following links. http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and%20Station_2009_to_30_December_2018.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and%20Station_2009_to_30_December_2018.xlsx
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures