Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (284)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

284. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vehicles attached to the Clare Garda division as of 31 December 2018 and 4 December 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51684/19]

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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 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.

A total of €10 million was made available specifically for the Garda fleet this year, as part of an overall investment of €46 million in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021 and Garda management confirmed that it intended to use this allocation to purchase over 300 vehicles for the fleet this year. I recently announced 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. In addition, €9 million will be provided for 2020.

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 however that the allocation of Garda vehicles is made on the basis of identified operational demands and 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. Garda management confirmed to me that the €10 million provided at the outset of this year would be 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.

I am informed that the fleet in the Clare Division on 31 December 2018 was comprised of 56 vehicles; and that on 21 November 2019 it was 49.

A breakdown of these vehicles allocated to the Clare Division as conveyed to me by the Garda authorities, is set out in the following tables.

Clare Division Fleet as of 31 December 2018

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4X4

Other

39

13

2

1

1

Clare Division Fleet as of 21 November 2019

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4X4

Other

33

13

2

1

0

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.