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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 297 - Garda deployment [30027/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 297 - Garda deployment [30027/17]. (27 Jun 2017)

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297. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí assigned to the drugs unit in the R district in each of the years 2011 to 2016 and to date in 2017, in tabular form. [30027/17]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner 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. 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.


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


  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. 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 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.


  In 2015 the Commissioner established a new national Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau. The Bureau continues to lead out the policing strategy for tackling drugs by demand reduction and supply reduction strategies. In this regard the Bureau continues its policy of working with Divisional Drug Units nationwide in tackling supply reduction at local level. This work is further supported by other national units, including the Criminal Assets Bureau, in targeting persons involved in the illicit sale and supply of drugs. This approach allows for the co-ordinated use of Garda resources in tackling all forms of organised crime, including illicit drug activity nationwide. Multi-disciplinary approaches are also utilised to ensure that those involved in illicit activity are effectively targeted including through the use of the proceeds of crime legislation, money laundering legislation and the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau. I am informed that this approach adopts good practice in implementing a co-ordinated use of Garda resources and in utilising available criminal law to its fullest extent in tackling all forms of organised crime, including drug trafficking.


  Coolock, Malahide and Swords Garda stations form the R District which comes under the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) North Division. For ease of reference, I have provided the detailed information requested in relation the Drugs Unit in DMR North from 2011 to 30 April 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available, as supplied by the Commissioner.


  Drugs Unit Personnel 2011 - 2017









D.M.R. North








  *Up to 30 April 2017

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention, Policy
27 June 2017

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