Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 06 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Garda Strength.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of full-time members of An Garda Síochána as of the 1 January 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. [4042/07]

  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 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. I have been further informed by the Garda authorities that the total strength of An Garda Síochána as at 31 December 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 (figures are calculated on an end of year basis) was as set out hereunder:

Year

Attested

In Training

Total recruited

31/12/2002

11,895

546

12,441

31/12/2003

12,017

690

12,707

31/12/2004

12,209

519

12,728

31/12/2005

12,264

1,125

13,389

31/12/2006

12,954

1,114

14,068

This represents an increase of 1,627 (or 13%) in the strength of An Garda Síochána since 31 December, 2002 and an increase of 2,484 (or 21%) since 31 December, 1997.