35. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of community gardaí who were and are assigned to Swords Garda station in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12004/19]
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.
Swords Garda Station forms part of the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) North Division. The Garda strength of the DMR North from 2009 to 31 January 2019 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the following links.www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_January_2018.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_January_2018.xlsx.
Community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána as it recognises that every community, either urban or rural, has its own concerns and expectations. The role of a community Garda is not a specialist role in An Garda Síochána; rather it is the case that all Gardaí have a role to play in community policing in carrying out their duties. The official categorisation of Community Garda simply refers to those who are exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities and civil society including giving talks to schools, community groups and others. It is a matter for the Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimum distribution of duties among the personnel available to him or her having regard to the profile of the area and its specific needs.
The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the Community Garda Strength in Swords Garda station in each of the years from 2014 to 31 January 2019, the latest date for which figures are currently available, as supplied by the Garda Commissoner is as set out in the table.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link.
Garda Strength Presented - Community Gardaí - Total
Total: means all those Gardaí at a station all of whom have community policing as an inherent part of their role.
Community Gardaí: are those with the official categorisation and are exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities including giving talks to schools, community groups and others.