Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (108)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

108. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of additional Garda community support vans purchased to date in 2019; the Garda districts that they have been attached to; and if additional Garda community support vans are due to be purchased later in 2019. [26843/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.

The Deputy may also wish to be aware that a total of €10 million has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation will be used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year.

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure their optimum use.

In relation to vehicles for community support, I am informed by the Garda authorities that three mini buses have been purchased and added to the Garda fleet in 2019 and that these vehicles have been allocated by Garda management to the Cork West Division, Cork City Division and Westmeath Division. I am further informed that two mini buses and one custom fit-out van (currently being used as a community support van) were purchased in 2018 and were allocated to the DMR North, DMR West and DMR North Central respectively.

Finally, I am advised by the Garda authorities that they currently have no plans to purchase any further vehicles of this type this year.