699. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice if funding has been provided for the provision of purchasing additional high-powered unmarked vehicles for the roads policing unit. [50877/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, under Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the general administration and management of Garda business, including the allocation of funds for specific purposes within the organisation. As Minister, I have no role in this independent function.
However, I am informed by the Garda authorities that no high-powered unmarked vehicles have been allocated to the Roads Policing Unit in 2021. 34 marked all-wheel drive vehicles have been allocated to the Roads Policing Unit to date in 2021, with one further allocation planned for Q4 2021.
I am further informed that the purchase and allocation of vehicles by An Garda Síochána is made on the basis of identified operational demands and availability of resources, and is monitored and reviewed on a continual basis. The number and types of vehicles to be purchased in 2022 to meet operational demands is currently under review. Budget 2022 has allocated €12m for investment in the Garda fleet, which will mean more high visibility policing in our towns and cities.