534. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the measures taken to equip gardaí in Tallaght with adequate four wheel drive vehicles to help reduce response times should a similar situation arise (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25462/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Government's Capital Plan 2016 – 2021 provides €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet, to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet and this is in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the period 2013 to 2015. In total, in the period 2013 to 2017, almost €44 million has been invested in the fleet.
As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda vehicles are a matter for the Garda Commissioner in the light of his identified operational demands and the availability of resources. As Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of 31 March 2018, a total of 102 4x4 vehicles are available to An Garda Síochána.
I understand that the allocation of Garda vehicles is monitored and reviewed by the Garda authorities on a continual basis. The responsibility for the efficient deployment of all official Garda vehicles in each Division is assigned to the Divisional Officer, who may allocate vehicles between stations as required by operational requirements.
Finally, I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are no plans to purchase further 4x4 vehicles in 2018.