Fine Gael TD Gabrielle McFadden has welcomed the allocation of €46million for Garda vehicles over the next five years.
Funding will be provided for both regular Garda patrol vehicles as well as specialist, high-power vehicles for targeted operations. This is part of an unprecedented allocation of €875m in capital funding in the justice sector.
“I am delighted that the Government has decided to make this unprecedented investment in our justice sector and in particular Garda vehicles,” McFadden says. “This proves the Government’s ongoing commitment to ensure that the Garda fleet is modern, effective, and fit for purpose. Access to new and modern vehicles is vital in ensuring Gardaí can be mobile, responsive, and visible in the community, both urban and rural.
Since 2012, the Government has invested nearly €29m in new Garda vehicles, with 370 new Garda vehicles having come on stream since the start of this year. Ultimately, this will mean that gardaí in Westmeath will have access to better, newer vehicles in which to patrol the local communities.
“In terms of rural policing, our priority has been focussed on delivering highly mobile and responsive Garda patrols in rural communities which are being supported by this Government’s ongoing investment in new vehicles,” says Deputy McFadden. “In addition, Minister Fitzgerald recently allocated €700,000 to An Garda Síochána to purchase new specialised vehicles to support frontline gardaí responding to current and emerging crime threats.”
Some €18m is also being provided for the refurbishment of Garda stations throughout the country. This is also supported by the separate recent allocation of €1.75m to upgrade surveillance equipment on Garda aircraft, including infra-red cameras for night-time use which will greatly enhance the capacity of gardaí to monitor and track highly mobile gangs and tackle night-time burglars.
“I also welcome the substantial additional investment of €205m in new technology and systems for An Garda Síochána,” Deputy McFadden stated. “This allocation will deliver new systems which will ensure a more responsive deployment of gardaí in the community and improved Garda response times.”