Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of additional gardaí that have been allocated to the western division in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14306/19]
143. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí that have been allocated to the western division directly from Templemore Training College in each of years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14307/19]
144. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí allocated to the western division as of 20 March 2019 compared with 20 March 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14308/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 142 to 144, 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.
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 by the Commissioner that the Cohort model of resource allocation is currently utilised for the general allocation of personnel within An Garda Síochána, including newly attested probationer Gardaí from the Garda College. The allocation and transfer of Garda Personnel using the Cohort Model is determined by a number of factors, including crime and non-crime workload, minimum establishment, population, area, policing arrangements, operational strategies and transfers applications, including welfare issues. When allocations are taking place, comprehensive consultation is carried out with Local Management during which all factors are taken into consideration. Where a deficiency in resources is identified the matter is considered fully and addressed accordingly.
I am advised by the Commissioner that the Garda strength of the Galway Division on 31 January 2019, the latest date for which figures are readily available was 606. There are also 28 Garda Reserves and 77 Garda civilian staff attached to the Galway 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.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 41 members have been assigned to the Galway Division.
In relation to the allocation of newly attested Gardaí, it is important to keep in mind 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.
The Government remains committed to the recruitment of additional Gardaí and accordingly 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 now 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.
The Garda strength of the Galway Division from 2009 to 31 January 2019 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the link below.
The information requested by the Deputy regarding the number of newly attested Gardaí who were assigned to the Galway Division since recruitment recommenced, as provided by the Garda Commissioner, is available on my Department’s website through the link below.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the link below: