283. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of unmarked cars and vans attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau in 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [26709/19]
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 can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.
As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with 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 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 19 unmarked cars and 5 unmarked vans were attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau in 2018. I am further informed that as of 20 June 2019, there are 20 unmarked cars and 5 unmarked vans attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau.
The Deputy may also wish to be aware that a total of €10 million has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation will be used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year.