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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 134 - Garda data [12015/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 134 - Garda data [12015/17]. (07 Mar 2017)


134. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí by rank attached to the Garda North Dublin Divisional Drugs Unit in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12015/17]

 

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 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. It is the responsibility of the Divisional Officer to allocate personnel within his/her Division.

 

  I am informed that the number of Gardaí assigned to the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) North Garda Division on the 31 January 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available was 672, of which 21 were assigned to the Divisional Drugs 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. The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau leads out the policing strategy for tackling drugs supply. This approach allows for the co-ordinated use of Garda resources in tackling all forms of organised crime, including illicit drug activity nationwide. When appropriate, the work of the Division 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.

 

  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. This year, 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. Funding has also been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves.

 

  I am informed by the Commissioner, since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, that 838 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, 66 of whom have been assigned to the DMR North Garda Division. I am also informed that another 750 trainee Garda are scheduled to attest this year which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, increase to around the 13,500 mark by year end.

 

  This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources she needs to allow her to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across the organisation including the Divisional Drugs Units.

 

  The investment in personnel is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. The Deputy will be aware of the significant resources that have been made available to An Garda Síochána under the Government's Capital Plan 2016 - 2021. In particular, some €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT and €46 million for new Garda vehicles has been allocated over the lifetime of the plan. This investment will facilitate the provision of more effective policing services and support An Garda Síochána in tackling illicit drug activity.

 

  I am advised by the Commissioner that the following table gives a breakdown of the number of Garda members assigned to the DMR North Divisional Drugs Unit by rank in each of the years 2014 to 31 January 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available.

 

 

DMR North Divisional Drugs Unit Personnel 2014 - 2017

 

 

 

Year

Sergeant

Garda

Total

2014

2

14

16

2015

3

22

25

2016

3

18

21

*2017

3

18

21

 

 

  *As of 31 January 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Irish-related
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention, Policy
Date
7 March 2017
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