Garda numbers to reach 15,000

 

Garda numbers will reach almost 15,000 by the end of 2009, it was claimed today.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said the record strength of the force means it is in a good position to absorb the impact of the recruitment ban across the public service.

There are also some 2,133 civilian staff assisting officers with their duties in garda stations around the country.

“The strength of the force will reach approximately 14,900 by December 31st 2009,” Mr Ahern told the Dáil.

“There has also been a significant increase in civilian support staff, with the most recent figures indicating that the total number of whole-time equivalent civilian personnel has risen from 1,688 at the end of 2007 to 2,133.

He added: “While the moratorium will have a temporary effect on recruitment into the Garda Síochána, its record strength means that it is in the best possible position to absorb the impact and continue to deliver a top-class policing service.”

The recruitment ban will not apply to the Garda Reserve, whose members are unpaid volunteers who do not occupy public service posts.

Mr Ahern added: “This Government has been assiduous in increasing the levels of gardaí over the past number of years. We will do our best to keep the numbers as high as we can.”

PA