Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (244, 286)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

244. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 323 of 5 November 2019, the number of vehicles in operation in the Garda divisional fleet in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51206/19]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

286. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vehicles attached to each Garda district in the Kildare Garda division as of 3 December 2019, in tabular form. [51696/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 244 and 286 together.

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion and this is due to increase further to an unprecedented €1.88 billion for 2020. The capital budget for An Garda Síochána has also been significantly increased - a total of €92 million was provided this year, representing a 50% increase on capital investment in 2018. And capital investment will increase further to €116.5 million in 2020.

With regard to the fleet specifically,a further €9 million will be provided next year as part of an overall investment of €46 million in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. €10 million was made available for the Garda fleet this year.

It is important to be clear that under Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for management of An Garda Síochána. He is responsible for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources, in light of operational demands. This includes responsibility for allocation of Garda vehicles. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters. I am assured that the allocation of Garda vehicles is made on the basis of identified operational demands and that the allocation of Garda vehicles is monitored and reviewed on a continual basis.

The Deputy will appreciate that the size of the Garda fleet can fluctuate somewhat, as vehicles are added to and removed from the fleet. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the overall strength of the Garda fleet as of 31 October 2019 was 2,788.

I am further informed that the strength of the Kildare Divisional Fleet as of 4 December 2019 was 55, as set out in the below table, which was provided to me by the Garda authorities.

District

Cars

Vans

Motorbikes

4 x 4

*Others

Total

KILDARE DISTRICT

18

5

0

0

0

23

LEIXLIP DISTRICT

8

2

0

0

0

10

NAAS DISTRICT

14

6

1

1

0

22

Total KILDARE DIVISION

40

13

1

1

0

55

*The category 'others' refers to MPV, SUV, Minibus or Prisoner Conveyance Vehicles

Overall, I understand that this year's funding is being used for the purchase and fit-out of over 300 vehicles, of which 289 vehicles have been allocated to date. I understand that orders have been placed for a further 59 vehicles which will be allocated before the end of this year or in Quarter 1 2020. As a result, the Garda authorities consider that it is likely that the overall Garda fleet will be slightly larger at the end of the year compared to the total number of vehicles at the beginning of the year.

Further, I have recently confirmed that a further €1 million funding for the fleet will be included in additional funding to be provided to the Garda Vote before the end of the year.

Finally, the Deputy may be interested to know that the Garda authorities are developing a Fleet Strategy, which I expect to set out detail on matters including, for example, the optimum size and composition of the fleet. I expect that the new Governance function in my Department will engage with An Garda Síochána, in that regard, as the process continues.