218. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of new marked and unmarked Garda vans that came into the fleet to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30197/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): 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 for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.
The Deputy may also wish to be aware that 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 for operational use this year.
As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with 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 so as to ensure their optimum use.
The Garda authorities have informed me that as of 5 July 2019, 2 marked vans and 4 unmarked vans have been added to the fleet to date this year. I am advised by the Garda authorities that a further 13 marked vans are currently being fitted-out for operational use; and that an additional 15 vans have been ordered for delivery and fit-out during 2019. A decision will be made by Garda management in due course, based on operational needs, as to whether those vans will be marked or unmarked.