Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
I propose to take Questions Nos. 472 and 498 together.
I would first note that, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business 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 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 in 2020 to date and as of 12 May, 6 additional vehicles have been assigned to the Westmeath Division, of which 1 car was assigned to the Athlone District and 5 cars were assigned to the Mullingar District.
I am further informed that in 2020 to date and as of 12 May, 4 additional vehicles have been assigned to the Roscommon-Longford Division, of which 2 cars have been assigned to the Roscommon District and 2 cars have been assigned to the Longford District.
The following table, conveyed to me by the Garda authorities, sets out the vehicles attached to Roscommon/ Longford Division and Westmeath Division as at 12 May 2020, including the allocations identified in this response.
*The category 'Others' refers to MPV, SUV, Minibus or Prisoner Conveyance Vehicles
It may be noted that significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána. This includes a total of €46 million specifically for the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. Of this investment, a total of €9 million has been made available for purchase and fit-out of additional Garda vehicles in 2020. 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.
The details set out above relate to the permanent Garda fleet and do not include detail of additional vehicles which have been hired by An Garda Síochána in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and related public health restrictions.