Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 22 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Garda Deployment.

Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Gardaí on duty on a daily and nightly basis in each Garda division and district throughout Dublin City and County and in the immediate adjoining counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7069/07]

  Mr. McDowell: 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 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 [566] 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 275 new recruits per quarter 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.

Garda management state that for security and operational reasons it is not Garda policy to disclose the number of Gardaí on duty in any given area over any specific period of time.

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel strength of each Garda District in DMR South Central, DMR North Central, DMR South, DMR North, DMR West, DMR East, Louth/Meath, Carlow/Kildare and Wicklow/ Wexford on 31 December, 1997 and 31 January, 2007 was as set out in the following tables:

DMR South Central

31/12/97

31/01/07

District A

199

214

District B

322

343

District E

186

178

Total

707

735

DMR North Central

31/12/97

31/01/07

District C

231

281

District D

156

168

District U

198

208

Total

585

657

DMR South

31/12/97

31/01/07

District G

136

172

District M

196

249

District P

139

174

Total

471

595

DMR North

31/12/97

31/01/07

District H

245

247

District R

181

211

District J

151

180

Total

577

638

[567]

DMR West

31/12/97

31/01/07

District Q

127

186

District K

247

332

District L

139

203

Total

513

721

DMR East

31/12/97

31/01/07

District F

213

195

District N

160

205

District W

173

190

Total

546

590

Louth/Meath

31/12/97

31/01/07

Drogheda

92

113

Ashbourne

56

77

Kells

42

50

Balbriggan

51

57

Navan

70

65

Trim

50

44

Dundalk

137

144

Total

498

550

Carlow/Kildare

31/12/97

31/01/07

Kildare

66

77

Carlow

68

92

Naas

98

136

Baltinglass

49

62

Total

281

367

Wicklow/Wexford

31/12/97

31/01/07

Wexford

76

103

Gorey

63

87

Enniscorthy

41

46

New Ross

37

47

Wicklow

52

61

Total

269

344

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 am also informed that the resources of these Divisions are further augmented by a number of Garda National Units such as the Garda National [568] Drugs Unit, the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and other specialised units, all of which have had increased resources.

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.