As the Deputy will be aware, there has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country. In total, €342 million is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 to enable An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies and a total of €46 million is being invested in the Garda fleet over the same period.
As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision, allocation and management of Garda equipment and resources are matters for the Garda Commissioner. As Minister, I have no direct role in that regard.
I am informed that Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) was first introduced by the Garda authorities in 2008 and is used on a daily basis to assist in the prevention and detection of crime on our roads network. The Garda authorities advise that the number of Garda vehicles fitted with ANPR equipment varies on a daily basis due to operational factors, including repair and maintenance of equipment and ‘end-of-life’ of vehicles or equipment, updating of software, the decommissioning of damaged units and so on.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that due to technical and design specifications, a proportion of the vehicles attached to the Roads Policing do not accept the ANPR technology currently in use.
I am further informed that the cost of fitting ANPR in the remaining vehicles attached to Roads Policing and which are suitable for current ANPR technology would amount to approximately €1,212,500.