Dáil Éireann - Volume 626 - 07 November, 2006
Written Answers. - Garda Strength.
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
Dr. Upton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has brought to Government his request for approval for the appointment of an additional 1,000 gardaí; the response received from Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36283/06]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell: In August 2005, I received a submission from the Garda Commissioner on the resourcing requirements of An Garda Síochána. The submission was based on the Commissioner’s analysis of the policing challenges facing An Garda Síochána in the medium and longer term, including the implications of demographic change, the need to continue to combat crime and terrorist threats, and the requirements for enhanced enforcement of road traffic law and immigration control. In the submission, the Commissioner proposed the future expansion of An Garda Síochána to 15,000 full time members. He also proposed the expansion of the Garda overtime budget, the creation of a Garda Reserve and additional civilian support for An Garda Síochána.
On these last three issues, strong action has been taken. The 2006 Garda overtime budget allocation has risen by €22.4 million to €83.5 million, an increase of 36.6% over the original allocation of €61.1m in 2005. The Garda Reserve has been established, with the first group of recruits expected to complete their training next month. Significant progress is being made on providing additional civilian support for An Garda Siochána.
 On the issue of an increase in the strength of An Garda Síochána to 15,000, the priority has been the current recruitment drive to increase the strength of An Garda Síochána to 14,000 members, in line with the commitment in the Agreed Programme for Government. The induction of 280 new Garda recruits to the Garda College on 6 November, 2006 has resulted in a combined strength, of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training, of 14,137. This has involved a major redevelopment of the facilities at the Garda College, almost doubling its student capacity.
I am now giving careful consideration to the case for a continuation of the current intensive recruitment drive beyond the target of 14,000, and I will shortly bring new proposals to Government in this regard.
Dáil Éireann 626 Written Answers. Garda Strength.