219. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of new marked and unmarked Garda cars and motorcycles that were allocated to roads policing units in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30198/19]
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 to ensure their optimum use.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table sets out the new vehicles allocated to Roads Policing Duty in 2018 and to date in 2019 (correct as of 8 July 2019). I am further advised that no unmarked vehicles were allocated to Roads Policing Duty during this period.
|2019 (to 8 July)||1||0||0||18||0||19|
Finally, the Deputy may be interested to know that Garda management has informed me that a total number of 300 vehicles (marked and unmarked) are assigned to Roads Policing duty as at 8 July 2019. I am informed that this total is made up of 130 cars, 2 vans, 100 motorbikes, 28 4x4 vehicles and 40 other vehicles.