804. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice if funding will be provided to purchase five additional vans for the Garda armed support unit. [21427/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): 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 direct 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.
The government, through my Department, has provided significant capital investment to be 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. The allocation of these and all other vehicles in the fleet is entirely a matter for the Commissioner and his management team.
I am advised that €8m has been made available in the Fleet Management Capital Budget in 2021 for the purchase and fit-out of vehicles. I am informed by Garda authorities that 10 new vehicles have been ordered for Armed Support. I am further informed that these 10 new vehicles do not include vans.