The Deputy will be aware that in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. In addition, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of 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, to ensure their optimum use.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of 30 September 2020, there were 3,046 vehicles attached to the Garda Fleet, including vehicles attached to the national units. For clarity, this figure does not include the additional 210 vehicles which have been hired by An Garda Síochána this year, to provide additional capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Deputy may be interested to know that significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million specifically for the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. 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.
An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented budget of €1.952 billion for 2021 with an allocation of €8 million further investment in the Garda fleet in 2021.
The mix of vehicles, including electric vehicles, will be determined by operational priorities and has not as yet been determined for 2021.
Proposals are being finalised to install additional electric vehicle charging points at a number of Garda Stations around the country, with suitable locations currently being assessed. Following this, the number of electric vehicles to be purchased will be reviewed.