869. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice if she will provide more funding to An Garda Síochána to conduct traffic management; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41470/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of the Garda organisation under the Garda Síochána Act 2005. This includes decisions on the deployment of members of An Garda Síochána throughout the State. Furthermore, under the Section 43(1) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer of An Garda Síochána and is responsible the administration of the Garda budget. As Minister, I have no role in these independent functions.
I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of policing priorities and crime trends, to ensure their optimum use. I am further advised that it is a matter for the Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimum distribution of duties among the personnel available to him or her, having regard to the profile of each area within the Division and its specific needs.
Government investment into An Garda Síochána has reached unprecedented levels with Budget 2021 providing for €1.952 billion. This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff. As a result, Garda numbers are now approximately 14,500 Garda members and over 3,000 Garda staff nationwide.
This investment in personnel is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. The Deputy will be aware of the significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. This will ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet.
I can inform the Deputy that as at 31 July 2021, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 732 Garda members assigned to Roads Policing Duty nationwide. This represents an increase of over 17% since 2017.
Extensive information is available on my Department’s website in relation to the numbers of Garda members and their assignment nationwide, including by rank and station, at the following link: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures.
This information is updated every month with the latest data provided by An Garda Síochána.
In relation to the Garda fleet, there were 3,228 vehicles assigned to the Garda fleet at 31 August 2021, which represents an increase of over 15% since 31 December 2019. Question No. 870 answered with Question No. 867.