493. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount spent on purchasing spit hoods for the years ending 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19157/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): 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 to An Garda Síochána for 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. Further, the allocation of Garda resources, including equipment and specialist equipment, is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that no expenditure was incurred by An Garda Síochána on spit hoods in the years 2017, 2018 and in 2019 to date.