Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (359)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

359. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí attached to the Garda commercial vehicle unit; and the number of Garda vehicles attached to the unit in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019. [45257/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. I am also pleased to have secured an overall increase of €122 million to increase An Garda Síochána's budget for 2020 to an unprecedented €1.882 billion for next year.

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. €10 million capital funding has been made for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation is being used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year. A further €9 million capital funding has been allocated for the Garda fleet in Budget 2020.

This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet and that Gardaí can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime. 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 deployment of personnel and the allocation of resources, including Garda vehicles. 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.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are currently six Gardaí assigned to the Commercial Vehicle Unit, which forms part of the DMR Roads Policing Unit. This figure has remained the same over the years 2017-2018.

I am further informed that there are no official vehicles permanently assigned to the Commercial Vehicle Unit. Garda members have access to the entire fleet assigned to the DMR Roads Policing Division, currently consisting of 19 Garda Cars/SUVs and three 4x4 jeeps.