Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (23)

Niamh Smyth


23. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the specific investment his Department has made in the Garda fleet and personnel in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda district in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47586/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. I am also pleased to have secured an overall increase of €122 million to increase An Garda Síochána's budget for 2020 to an unprecedented €1.882 billion for 2020. 

Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021.  A total of €10 million capital funding was made for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019 and I understand from the Garda authorities that this is being used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles this year.  €9 million capital funding has been allocated for the Garda fleet for 2020. 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.

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing the administration and business of An Garda Síochána.  The Commissioner is also responsible for the efficient use of Garda resources, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles and Garda personnel 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 so as to ensure their optimum use.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that as at 31 October 2019, there are 59 vehicles in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda Division. It is important to note however that the Garda fleet is made up of vehicles in a range of different categories. 

I very much welcome the Garda Commissioner's recent decision to establish a new Armed Support Unit based in Cavan.  As at 31 October 2019, there are 372 Garda members assigned to the Cavan-Monaghan Division.  These members are supported in their role by 48 Garda staff and 8 Garda reserves. This is an increase from 346 Garda members at the end of 2018 and from 38 Garda staff at the end of 2018. These figures are available at my Department's website.