The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million which is being invested in 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.
A total of €10 million has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation will be used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles this year.
As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, 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 among the various Garda divisions. 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 31 December 2018, there were a total of 14 vehicles assigned to the Technical Bureau, consisting of 9 cars, 4 vans and 1 4x4 vehicle. I am further informed that as of 6 June 2019, there are a total of 13 vehicles assigned to the Technical Bureau, consisting of 8 cars, 4 vans and 1 4x4 vehicle.
I understand that 2 vehicles were removed from the Garda Technical Bureau fleet in 2018 and that 1 has been removed in 2019. I am informed by the Garda authorities that no additional vehicles have been allocated to the Technical Bureau in 2018 or to date in 2019.