127. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the new Garda allocation of resources tool COHORT; the timeline for its roll-out and use; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29749/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): 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. 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 these resources.
I am informed that the Cohort model of resource allocation has been in use by Garda management since 2015 and is currently the model utilised for the allocation of personnel within An Garda Síochána, including newly attested probationer Gardaí from the Garda College. The model is a dynamic distribution model and aims to impose a numerical/mathematical measure on the policing needs of each Division nationwide. The allocation and transfer of Garda Personnel, is determined by a number of factors, including crime and non-crime workload, population, area, policing arrangements, operational strategies and transfers applications, including welfare issues. When allocation of resources is under review, comprehensive consultation is carried out with local Garda management during which all relevant factors are taken into consideration. Where a deficiency in resources is identified the matter is considered fully and addressed accordingly.
In relation to the allocation of newly attested Gardaí, it has to be factored in that they have a further 16 months of practical and class-room based training to complete in order to receive their BA in Applied Policing. To ensure that they are properly supported and supervised and have opportunities to gain the breadth of policing experience required, the Commissioner's policy is to allocate them to specially designated training stations which have the required training and development structures and resources in place, including trained Garda tutors and access to a permanently appointed supervisory Sergeant who is thoroughly familiar with their responsibilities under the training programme. While not all Garda Stations are training stations it is important to note that the allocation of probationer Gardaí to a Divisional training station facilitates the reassignment of Gardaí to other stations within the Division, if required, by the Divisional Officer.