Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí by rank attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau as of 31 December 2017, 31 December 2018 and 3 May 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20523/19]
218. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí by rank attached to the Garda operational support unit as of 31 December 2017, 31 December 2018 and 3 May 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20524/19]
219. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí by rank attached to the Garda cybercrime unit as of 31 December 2017, 31 December 2018 and 3 May 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20525/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters, and I, as Minister, do not have responsibility for this 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.
With regard to numbers of Gardaí attached to divisions and stations or in particular roles or units, much of the data requested is on my Department’s website and is updated every month with the latest data provided by An Garda Síochána.
My officials are currently in the process of developing the website to provide additional information and data about other roles and units, and I would encourage the deputy and colleagues to avail of this resource.
For the Deputy's information I have set out in the tables attached additional data, as requested, in relation to the current strength of Garda national units which is currently not available on our website.
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 achieve this the Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. We are making real, tangible progress on achieving this goal.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, including 200 trainees who passed out from the college on 8th March.
I am pleased that funding is in place to maintain this high level of investment in the Garda workforce to ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track. The Government has increased the budget 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 informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and 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.
For general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures
Garda National Immigration Bureau 2017 - 2019
Garda National Operational Support Services 2017-2019
Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau 2017 - 2019