Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Questions (713)

Patrick Costello

Question:

713. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Justice the number and percentage of the Garda roads policing unit fleet that are currently equipped with the automatic number plate recognition system. [26851/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

There has been unprecedented 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, in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement and provide reassurance to

citizens and deter crime.  In total, €342 million is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021, to enable An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies and to deliver on reform. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision, allocation and management of Garda equipment and resources, including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment, are matters for the Garda Commissioner.  As Minister, I have no direct role in that regard.

I am informed that ANPR was introduced into An Garda Síochána in 2008 and is used on a daily basis to assist in the prevention and detection of crime on our roads network.  The Garda authorities advise that the number of Garda vehicles fitted with ANPR equipment varies on a daily basis, due to operational requirements, including repair and maintenance of equipment and ‘end-of-life’ of vehicles and equipment, the up-dating of software and the decommissioning of damaged units.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that as at the 28 September 2020, there are 76 vehicles equipped with in car video/ANPR capability. 74 of these are attached to frontline Roads Policing Units and 2 are used for test purposes. Overall these vehicles make up approximately 24% of the Roads Policing Fleet.