181. Deputy John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the numbers of gardaí in Rathfarnham and Tallaght Garda stations since 2010, in tabular form. [12778/16]


Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): 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. I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that the allocation of Gardaí is continually monitored and reviewed taking into account all relevant factors including crime trends, demographics, and security assessments relating to the area in question so as to ensure optimal use is made of Garda human resources.
The stations mentioned are part of the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) South. The number of Gardaí stationed in Rathfarnham and Tallaght on the 31 March 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, and on the 31 December 2010 to 2015, are set out in the table following.
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 deter crime. Key to achieving this goal is the commitment in the Programme for Government, "A Programme for a Partnership Government" to continue the ongoing accelerated Garda recruitment programme with a view to increasing Garda numbers to 15,000.
As the Deputy will be aware, when the financial crisis hit, the Government of the time introduced a moratorium on recruitment and the four year National Recovery Plan, published in 2010, envisaged a steady reduction in Garda numbers. Thankfully, in a recovering economy, we were able to reopen the Garda College in September 2014, a total of 700 Garda trainees have been recruited with a further 450 planned to be recruited during the remainder of this year. So far 395 of the new Garda trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream uniform duties nationwide. I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that 30 newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to the DMR South Garda Division.
It is expected that a further 300 trainees will attest by the end of this year which, taking account of projected retirements, will bring Garda numbers to around the 13,000 mark. We must, I believe, endeavour to make more rapid progress than this to reach our target of 15,000 and I will be engaging with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in relation to increasing the planned annual intake this year and in coming years.
Tallaght Garda District Strength

Date. Tallaght Rathfarnham
31/03/2016 177 68
31/12/2015 176 69
31/12/2014 170 72
31/12/2013 174 78
31/12/2012 188 74
31/12/2011 194 73
31/12/2010 199 76