Dáil Éireann - Volume 625 - 10 October, 2006
Written Answers. - Garda Stations.
Ms C. Murphy Ms C. Murphy
Ms C. Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Garda stations by county that operate on a 24 hour basis; if he will extend this number; if so, the stations which have been identified for such expansion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31794/06]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
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 12,762 on Friday, 8 September, 2006, following the attestation of 249 new members. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) as at 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,060 (or 19%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.3 billion, a 13% increase on 2005 and an 85% increase since 1997 in real terms.
I have been further informed that the number of Garda Stations open on a 24-hour basis in each Garda Division are as set out in the following table:
Garda management state that the extension of the opening hours at individual Garda stations is a matter for each Divisional Officer. However, the extension of the opening hours at any Garda Station would necessitate the employment of additional personnel on indoor administrative duties who may be more effectively employed on outdoor policing duties.
I should add that the current recruitment drive to increase the strength of the Garda Síochána to 14,000 members, in line with the commitment in the Agreed Programme for Government, is fully on target. This will lead to a combined strength, of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training, of 14,000 by the end of this year. The first three groups of newly attested Gardaí under this accelerated recruitment programme came on stream in March, June and September of this year and the fourth such group will become fully attested members of the Force later this year. Further tranches of approximately 275 newly attested Gardaí will follow every 90 days thereafter until the programme is complete. The Garda Commissioner will now be drawing up plans on how best to distribute and manage these additional resources.
Dáil Éireann 625 Written Answers. Garda Stations.