279. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda command-and-control vehicles purchased in 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018; and the number withdrawn during the same period. [39742/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that there has been very significant investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. 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, in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the period 2013 to 2015. In total in the period 2013 - 2017, almost €44 million has been invested in the fleet with some 2,000 vehicles coming on stream to ensure that Gardaí can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.
As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda vehicles across the various Garda divisions are a matter for the Commissioner in light of his identified operational demands and the availability of resources. As Minister, I have no direct role in that matter.
I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure their optimum use. Responsibility for the efficient deployment of all official vehicles in each Division is assigned to the Divisional Officer, who may allocate vehicles between districts and stations as required by operational requirements.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that no new command and control vehicles were allocated in 2016 or 2017 and that 1 new vehicle set up as a command vehicle was allocated to Dublin Metropolitan Region in 2018.
I further understand from the Garda authorities that no command and control vehicles have been removed from service in the period 2016 to date.
The total number of Garda vehicles at 31 July 2018 was 2,771.