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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 86 - Garda deployment [Waterford] [38485/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 86 - Garda deployment [Waterford] [38485/16]. (06 Dec 2016)

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86. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number that make up the drugs squad within An Garda Síochána in County Waterford in each of the years 2006 to 2016 to date, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38485/16]

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): 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 Units and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that the allocation of Gardaí is continually monitored and reviewed taking into account all relevant factors including crime trends, demographics, and security assessments relating to the area in question so as to ensure optimal use is made of Garda human resources.

 

  I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that as of the 31 October 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 237 members assigned to the Garda Divisional Drugs Units, of whom 5 were assigned to the Waterford Divisional Drug Unit.

 

  It is important to note that all Gardaí have a responsibility in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of drug offences or otherwise. I can assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána continues to pro-actively and resolutely tackle all forms of drug crime in this jurisdiction. The Garda National Drugs Unit works closely with dedicated Divisional and District Drug Units and other national units, including the Organised Crime Unit, as well as the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in targeting persons involved in the illicit sale and supply of drugs.

 

  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 deter crime. To make this a reality for all, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. In 2017, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Appointments will also be made to the Garda Reserve of approximately 300.

 

  Taking account of projected retirements, reaching a strength of 15,000 will require some 3,200 new Garda members to be recruited on a phased basis over the next four years in addition to the 1,200 that will have been recruited by the end of this year since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014. This is an ambitious target and will require a continuous pipeline of suitable candidates. I am pleased to say that the recruitment campaign launched by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Commissioner last September, the second campaign this year, again received a strong response.

 

  Since the reopening of the Garda College, 679 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána, and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. I am informed that so far 24 of these probationer Garda have been assigned to the Waterford Division. It is expected that drug law enforcement activities and all other Garda activities, will undoubtedly benefit from these resources now coming on stream.

 

  The following table gives a breakdown of the number of Garda members assigned to the Waterford Divisional Drugs Unit in each of the years 2008 to 2016 as of 31 October 2016. I have requested details of the number of Garda assigned to the Waterford Divisional Drugs Unit for the years 2006 and 2007 from the Commissioner and I will write directly to the Deputy when this information is to hand.

 

Waterford Divisional Drugs Unit

Year

Strength

2008

15

2009

12

2010

14

2011

10

2012

10

2013

9

2014

5

2015

5

2016

5

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Irish-related
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention, Policy
Date
6 December 2016
EndNote

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