761. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice the number of community gardaí attached to Coolock, Raheny and Howth Garda stations, respectively. [38890/20]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources is made in light of identified operational demands. This includes deployment of personnel among the various Garda Divisions. As Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.
I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of policing priorities and crime trends, to ensure their optimum use. I understand that 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 each area within the Division and its specific needs.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that members attached to Community Policing Units in the stations in question were temporarily re-assigned to the regular units at the commencement of the COVID-19 roster. However, members from the Community Policing Units remain in contact with their contacts throughout the community and have been providing valuable assistance to vulnerable persons throughout the crisis.
It should also be noted that, to date, the official categorisation as a Community Garda has simply referred to those who are exclusively assigned to building relationships with local communities and civil society including giving talks to schools, community groups and others. However, it is important to note that community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána and that all Gardaí have a role to play in community policing in carrying out their duties. Indeed, this has never been more evident than in the work carried out by all members of the Gardaí over the last eight months as we have tackled the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Deputy may wish to note that as of 31 October 2020, there were 239 Garda members assigned to the Coolock District in total. This included 199 Gardaí, 33 Sergeants, 6 Inspectors and 1 Superintendent, of which 118 Garda members were assigned to Coolock Garda station.
As of the same date, there were 167 Garda members assigned to the Raheny District which included 143 Gardaí, 19 Sergeants, 4 Inspectors and 1 Superintendent. Of this total, 35 Garda members were assigned to Howth Garda station and 71 Garda members were assigned to Raheny Garda station.