1024. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of 4x4 vehicles currently used by An Garda Síochána; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19692/20]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Helen McEntee): The Deputy will be aware that in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána.  In addition, 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.  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 as of 30 June 2020, there were 2,961 vehicles attached to the Garda Fleet, including vehicles attached to the national units.  For clarity, this figure does not include the additional 210 vehicles which have been hired by An Garda Síochána this year, to provide additional capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic.  
For the Deputy's information the table below sets out all vehicles assigned to the Garda fleet as of  that date.

Cars  Vans  Motorcycles 4x4 * Others  Total
2,209 501 115 82 54 2,961

*The category 'others' refers to MPV, SUV, Minibus or Prisoner Conveyance Vehicles
Significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million specifically for the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. 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. 
Of this investment, a total of €9 million was made available for purchase and fit-out of additional Garda vehicles in 2020.  I am also informed that in order to protect the ongoing availability of vehicles and in anticipation of the impact of public health restrictions on motor factory or fit-out workplaces, 94 additional vehicles were purchased by the Garda authorities in March 2020 at a cost of €2.4m and fit-out costs of €600,000.  The allocation of these and all other vehicles in the fleet is entirely a matter for the Commissioner and his management team.