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. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 is €1.76 billion. Significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €342 million being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 and a total of €46 million being invested in the Garda fleet over the same period.
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 role in such matters. I understand however, that a wide range of programmes are being pursued with the benefit of the ongoing substantial investment in Garda ICT infrastructure.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the computer aided dispatch (CAD) system currently in use in An Garda Síochána was originally installed in the Dublin Metropolitan Region in 1987 and that the system was substantially upgraded in 2010. I am informed that the CAD system is fully operational and a current support and maintenance agreement is in place with the system supplier.
CAD is a key enabler for the Garda Control Room Strategy, under which An Garda Síochána is streamlining the number of control rooms, managing first contact and incident response nationwide. The system supports regional control rooms serving the Dublin Metropolitan Region and Eastern Region, the Western and Northern Region and the Southern Region, with the South Eastern Region planned for go-live later this year.
In line with the Implementation Plan for the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland - A Policing Service for the Future - it is planned to procure a new CAD system to support the regional control room structure and replace the existing system. It will incorporate the latest control room technology, including mapping, mobile computing, automatic vehicle and person location, and digital radio and telephone integration.
I understand that An Garda Síochána is currently working to progress the matter however as the Deputy will appreciate, so as not to compromise the procurement process of the new CAD system, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on what is a live procurement process.