111. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the staffing levels at Douglas Garda station in each of the years 2007 to 2016 and to date in 2017; if further personnel resources will be committed to the station; and if so, the timeframe for the allocation of additional resources. [43126/17]
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.
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 to deter crime. To make this a reality for all, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.
This plan is progressing apace. This year, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Funding has also been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves.
As the Deputy will be aware Douglas Garda Station is located in the Togher Garda District which forms part of the Cork City Division. I am informed by the Commissioner that the Garda strength of the Cork City Division, on 31 August 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 656, of whom 115 members are assigned to the Togher Garda District. There are also 44 Garda Reserves and 64 civilians attached to the Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
I am further informed by the Commissioner, that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, close to 1,400 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, 32 of whom have been assigned to the Cork City Division. I am also informed that another 200 trainee Garda are scheduled to attest this year which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, increase to around the 13,500 mark by year end - an increase of 500 since the end of 2016.
I was pleased to announce yesterday that I have secured funding to provide for the recruitment of another 800 new Garda recruits in 2018, which will ensure that the planned Garda strength of 15,000 by 2021 remains on course.
This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division, including the Cork City Division in the coming years.
This investment in personnel is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. The Deputy will be aware of the significant resources that have been made available to An Garda Síochána under the Government's Capital Plan 2016 - 2021. In particular, some €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT and €46 million for new Garda vehicles has been allocated over the lifetime of the plan. This investment will facilitate the provision of more effective policing services and I have no doubt that these new resources now coming on stream will see an increase in Garda visibility in our communities.
I am informed by the Commissioner that the number of Gardaí allocated to Douglas Garda Station in each of the years 2007 to 2016 and as of 31 August 2017, is as set out in the table below.
Douglas Garda Station 2007 - 2017
*Up to 31 August 2017