Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (889)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

889. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount spent on capital investment in An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the details of the expenditure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33143/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion as well as capital investment amounting to € 92 million this year. This year's allocation is part of the unprecedented investment which has been made 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.

Ongoing capital investment in An Garda Síochána includes:

- investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021;

- investment of €46 million in the Garda Fleet over the same period; and

- considerable capital investment in the Garda estate, funded from both the Garda and OPW Votes.

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is a matter for the Commissioner to efficiently manage these resources, based upon operational requirements. I am informed by the Garda authorities that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review, to ensure their optimum use.

In terms of the Garda estate, I would point out that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation and accordingly the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the OPW.

The Garda Building and Refurbishment programme 2016-2021 continued to be delivered during the years referred to by the Deputy. The programme includes planned works at over 30 locations, including:

- major refurbishment of selected stations and facilities, including facilities for meeting victims of crime;

- essential remedial works to selected existing stations; and

- development of large scale Property and Exhibit Management Stores (PEMS).

The programme also includes a Cell Refurbishment Programme and provision of improved Custody Management Facilities. Other capital works ongoing in relation to the Garda estate include the Pilot Reopening Project, the refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street Station and the development of new facilities at Military Road. Major building projects completed during the period referred to by the Deputy include the construction of 3 new Divisional Headquarters in Wexford, Galway and Kevin Street in Dublin. Works have also been completed at over 80 of the locations included in Cell Refurbishment Programme.

In relation to the Garda fleet, the capital allocation of €46 million between 2016 and 2021 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.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the total of €10 million which has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019 will be used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year. As of 17th July 2019, 156 new vehicles have been allocated by the Garda authorities this year. I am further informed by the Garda authorities that 597 new vehicles were allocated in 2016, 286 new vehicles were allocated in 2017 and 301 new vehicles were allocated in 2018. It should be noted that these allocations may include vehicles which were purchased in the immediately preceding year, but in relation to which the technical fit-out process (and therefore allocation) was not completed until the relevant new year.

In relation to Garda ICT, the significant investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 will enable An Garda Síochána to deliver on reform and deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in delivering professional policing and security services for the community. I am informed by the Garda authorities that a broad range of ICT projects and initiatives have been or are being progressed, including projects such as:

- the Rosters and Duty Management System, which will give supervisors better and faster information on the resources available to them;

- phased implementation of the Mobility project, which aims to provide operational Garda members with secure mobile access to Garda systems;

- the Investigations Management System, which will standardise, digitise and support the management of all investigations arising from a PULSE incident; and

- establishment of Regional Control Rooms, to capture emergency calls and dispatch of resources to the incident and staged deployment of a new national Computer Aided Dispatch System.

These and a wide range of other projects are being supported by the ongoing capital investment being made in Garda ICT.

Finally, I am informed by the Garda authorities that Garda capital expenditure from 2016 to June 2019 is outlined in the following table. It should be noted that this table reflects capital expenditure on the Garda estate from the Garda vote and does not include expenditure on the Garda estate from the OPW vote.

Description

2016 Actual

2017 Actual

2018 Actual

2019 Jan-June

€000

€000

€000

€000

Information Technology (Hardware, Software IT Applications, Communication Equipment)

51,656

39,935

42,955

20,863

Fleet

9,993

5,646

4,667

2,457

Capital Building Programme

29,097

43,402

18,957

5,795

Garda College

0

0

1

2

Total Capital Expenditure

90,746

88,983

66,580

29,117