The resources by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion, increasing to an unprecedented €1.88 billion for 2020. 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.
I understand from the Garda authorities that this year's capital allocation of €10 million for the Garda fleet is being used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year. I recently indicated 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. 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.
In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for management and control of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles, in accordance with operational demand. 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, to ensure their optimum use.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that no Public Order Vans have been allocated to DMR North Division in 2019 to date. I am further informed that during the same period, 15 Public Order Vans have been purchased and allocated to the Garda fleet.
I am further informed that there are currently 19 Public Order Vans assigned either to the Dublin Metropolitan Region and the National Public Order Unit (Harcourt Square).
Finally and while the question raised by the Deputy referred specifically to public order vans, the Deputy may also wish to be aware that 42 additional vehicles with a capacity for 4-5 Garda members and two individual cells for the transportation of prisoners were added to the Garda fleet in 2018 and a further 4 such vehicles were added to the fleet in 2019. I am further advised by the Garda authorities that an additional eight such vehicles are due for allocation before year end.