311. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if funding is available in 2019 to purchase extra Garda command and control vehicles; if so, when these vehicles will come into the fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23271/19]
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. Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. 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. A total of €10 million has been made available in 2019 for purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles.
As the Deputy will appreciate, 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 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 these matters. I understand 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 An Garda Síochána intends to use this year's allocation to purchase and fit out over 300 new vehicles for the Garda fleet. I am further informed by the Garda authorities that it is not currently intended to purchase command and control vehicles this year.