Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Department of Justice and Equality
571. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost of having automatic number plate recognition installed in each remaining Garda roads policing unit vehicle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14078/19]
As the Deputy will be aware, there has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country. In total, €342 million is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 to enable An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies and a total of €46 million is being invested in the Garda fleet over the same period.
As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision, allocation and management of Garda equipment and resources are matters for the Garda Commissioner. As Minister, I have no direct role in that regard.
I am informed that Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) was first introduced by the Garda authorities in 2008 and is used on a daily basis to assist in the prevention and detection of crime on our roads network. The Garda authorities advise that the number of Garda vehicles fitted with ANPR equipment varies on a daily basis due to operational factors, including repair and maintenance of equipment and ‘end-of-life’ of vehicles or equipment, updating of software, the decommissioning of damaged units and so on.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that due to technical and design specifications, a proportion of the vehicles attached to the Roads Policing do not accept the ANPR technology currently in use.
I am further informed that the cost of fitting ANPR in the remaining vehicles attached to Roads Policing and which are suitable for current ANPR technology would amount to approximately €1,212,500.
572. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if funding will be provided for the replacement of riot shields for Garda public order units; when the shields were last updated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14079/19]
The Deputy will be aware that there has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.
An allocation of €1.76 billion has been provided by Government to An Garda Síochána for 2019. As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of 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, including equipment and specialist equipment such as riot shields, is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that following a review of Garda public order unit equipment, a total of 250 riot shields were purchased by An Garda Síochána and delivered earlier this year. I am further informed by An Garda Síochána that it is satisfied it has adequate resources on hand to meet operational requirements in this regard.