1476. Deputy Paul Donnelly asked the Minister for Justice the number of new cars and vans that were added to the Garda dog unit in 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form; and the number of vehicles withdrawn from the unit during same period. [20098/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The Deputy will be aware that in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. In addition, 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. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, 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 at 15 April 2021 there were nine vehicles attached to the Garda Dog Unit.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that one vehicle was removed from the Garda Dog Unit in 2020 and two vehicles have been removed from the unit so far this year.
I am also informed that ten vans have been purchased for the Dog Unit and following fit out they will be available for allocation to the unit.
The allocation of Garda vehicles is monitored and reviewed on a continual basis to ensure the best match with An Garda Síochána’s operational requirements.
Significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million specifically for 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.