236. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the age of each truck attached to the Garda water unit; if funding will be provided for the replacement of the oldest age truck in the unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20806/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. Significant capital investment is also being made, including €46 million which has been provided by the Government for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021.
I understand from the Garda authorities that the Garda Water Unit is a national resource under the direction and control of the Assistant Commissioner, Roads Policing and Major Event Management and the operational control of the Superintendent, Operational Support Services.
The Garda authorities have advised that 19 vehicles are attached to the Operational Support Division, including 2 trucks attached to the Garda Water Unit which are 13 and 14 years old respectively.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that vehicles are operated up to the manufacturers durability limits or up to uneconomic repair, irrespective of their age; and that a comprehensive service, repair and maintenance programme is in place to ensure that all vehicles are operating in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
As noted above, significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána including to ensure that it has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet. A total of €10 million has been made available for purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019.
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 and further, 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 direct role in such 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 so as to ensure the optimum use is made of these resources.