As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the administration and management of An Garda Síochána, including the purchase and distribution of Garda resources such as Garda vehicles. As Minister for Justice, I have no direct role in these matters.
I am advised however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review to ensure their optimum use in light of identified operational needs and emerging crime trends.
Budget 2022 provides over €2 billion in funding to An Garda Síochána. Very significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána, including the provision for a capital budget of €147 million for An Garda Síochána’s ICT and Building Programme and ongoing investment in the organisation’s transport fleet. An Garda Síochána, recognising the need to be visible and accessible in communities but also conscious of taking proactive actions to reduce their carbon footprint, will purchase an additional 100 mountain bikes and increased numbers of electrical vehicles as part of an overall fleet management strategy.
I am informed that 5 unmarked cars were allocated to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in 2020 and 3 unmarked cars to date in 2021. I am further informed that no unmarked vehicles have been removed from GNIB fleet in 2020 or to date in 2021.