Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when Strokestown Garda station, County Roscommon, can expect to return to its five permanent gardaí status. [12342/19]
221. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is a serving sergeant stationed at Strokestown Garda station, County Roscommon. [12343/19]
222. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí stationed full-time at Strokestown Garda station, County Roscommon. [12344/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 220 to 222, inclusive, together.
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.
Strokestown Garda Station forms part of the Castlerea District in the Roscommon/ Longford Division. The Garda strength of the Roscommon/Longford Division from 2009 to 31 January 2019 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the following links.
I am informed by the Commissioner that in regard to the deployment of Garda personnel, a distribution model is used which takes into account all relevant factors including population, crime trends and the policing needs of each individual Garda Division. Where a deficiency in resources is identified the matter is considered fully and addressed accordingly. In addition, as you will appreciate, in order to deliver an effective policing service, it is essential that Garda management have the flexibility to deploy Garda resources to meet operational policing needs and address critical issues as they arise. For this reason, the number of Gardaí available in any one Garda Station on a particular day is subject to the operational requirements of the overall Division.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 recruits have attested as members and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, 18 of whom have been assigned to the Roscommon/Longford Division.
The Government has increased the budget by 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 now informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and he also intends to recruit 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.
I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions including the Roscommon/Longford Division.
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