Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 22 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Garda Deployment.

Mr. O’Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Gardaí based in each Garda station in County Louth for the years 2002 to date in 2007; if he will increase the numbers in any location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6936/07]

Mr. O’Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of full-time Gardaí based in Ardee in 2002 and in 2007; if he will increase the number of Gardaí; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6937/07]

  Mr. McDowell: I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 and 87 together.

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána [545] increased to a record 13,000 following the attestation of 299 new members on Thursday, 16 November, 2006. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) as at 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,298 (or 21.5%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The combined strength (all ranks), of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training as at the 31 December 2006 was 14,068. Furthermore, I should say that in December, 2006 as part of a package of anti-crime measures, the Government approved the continuation of the existing Garda recruitment programme to achieve a total Garda strength of 15,000. The accelerated intake of [546] approximately 1,100 new recruits per annum into the Garda College will continue until this target is met. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.4 billion, an 11% increase on 2006 and a 96% increase since 1997 in real terms.

I have been further informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel strength (all ranks) of the Louth Meath Division on 31 December, 2002 and 2006 was 532 and 548, respectively. The personnel strength (all ranks) of each Garda Station in the Louth/Meath Division on 31 December 2002-2006 and on 31 January, 2007 was as set out in the following tables:

31/12/02

31/12/03

31/12/04

31/12/05

31/12/06

31/01/07

Drogheda

89

90

89

93

93

93

Castle-bellingham

4

4

4

4

4

4

Clogherhead

3

2

2

1

2

2

Dunleer

4

4

4

4

4

4

Laytown

7

7

8

8

10

10

Ashbourne

37

37

40

37

49

49

Dunboyne

15

13

12

14

14

14

Dunshaughlin

11

11

10

9

9

9

Kilcock

6

5

5

5

5

5

Dundalk

96

97

101

101

109

109

Carlingford

3

3

3

3

3

3

Hackballscross

14

14

13

12

11

11

Dromad

13

12

11

9

7

7

Omeath

14

14

15

10

7

7

Louth

1

2

1

2

2

2

Blackrock

4

4

4

5

5

5

Kells

31

34

31

32

37

37

Athboy

6

6

6

6

6

6

Oldcastle

4

4

4

3

4

4

Nobber

3

3

3

3

3

3

Trim

24

25

25

23

25

25

Longwood

0

0

0

1

1

1

Summerhill

2

2

2

2

2

2

Enfield

16

17

16

13

14

14

31/12/02

31/12/03

31/12/04

31/12/05

31/12/06

31/01/07

Ballivor

2

2

3

2

2

2

Balbriggan

35

32

34

32

32

32

Skerries

10

10

11

10

11

11

Lusk

4

4

4

4

4

4

Rush

4

5

5

6

7

7

Garristown

3

3

3

3

3

3

Navan

47

49

46

45

48

48

Ardee

9

10

10

10

9

9

Collon

2

2

2

2

2

2

Duleek

3

4

4

3

3

3

Slane

4

4

4

4

3

3

[547] The Deputy should appreciate that, as with any large organisation, on any given day, personnel strengths of individual stations may fluctuate due, for example, to promotions, retirements and transfers.

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the geographical boundaries of the various Garda Divisions do not match with county boundaries in all instances. A map showing the boundaries of each Garda Division together with a list of all stations in these Divisions is available on the Garda Síochána website at the following address — www.garda.ie/angarda/stations.html.

I should add that it is the responsibility of Garda management to allocate personnel to and within Divisions on a priority basis in accordance with the requirements of different areas. These personnel allocations are determined by a number of factors including demographics, crime trends and other operational policing needs. Garda management state that such allocations are continually monitored and reviewed along with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy. This ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources, and that the best possible service is provided to the public.