59. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the budgets for the Garda divisions in the northern region which were reduced some time ago will be restored without further delay in view of the unique policing needs of those divisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42517/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and as such is responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources at his disposal. Those resources have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2018 of more than €1.6 billion.
I am pleased to confirm that €1.76 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019. This is an increase of over 6% over the initial allocation for 2018.
In terms of capital investment, €342 million is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 to enable An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies and to deliver on reform. €46 million is being made available for investment in the Garda Fleet over the same period, in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the fleet from 2013 to 2015. Significant investment is also being made in addressing deficiencies in the Garda estate.
This significant current and capital investment in An Garda Síochána is 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.
It is a matter for the Commissioner to efficiently manage the resources provided for An Garda Síochána and to determine the allocation of budgets to all Divisions, including those in the Northern Region, based upon operational requirements. Question No. 60 answered with Question No. 43.