Sinn Fein Louth TD Gerry Adams has said that the decrease in Garda numbers in County Louth is a cause for concern.
The Sinn Féin leader was responding to figures supplied to him by the Justice Minister Alan Shatter on foot of parliamentary questions from Mr Adams regarding Garda numbers in the county.
Speaking today, Gerry Adams said:
“Along with Councillors Edel Corrigan and Jim Loughran I met with senior Gardai in Dundalk two weeks ago on January 31st.
We had a positive meeting covering a range of issues of importance to citizens in county Louth and the border region. The discussion covered Garda strategy in the region and available Garda strength and resources. We also discussed the increase in the number of burglaries, drug related crimes, cross border policing arrangements, community safety policing and the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.
Following on from this conversation I submitted fifteen parliamentary questions seeking information from the Minister for Justice in respect to Garda strength on the ground in Louth and other related matters.
The Minister’s reply is a cause for considerable concern in that it shows Garda numbers in Louth have fallen from a high in 2010 of 314 Gardaí to a low in 2013 of 286.
In the same period the number of Gardaí available in the urban areas of Dundalk and Drogheda fell from 133 to 120 and from 100 to 93 respectively.
There is widespread community concern that Garda strength in Louth has been operating at below acceptable levels. These figures appear to bear that out and show that the situation is getting worse.
Falling Garda resources will do nothing to reassure the community.
What we need to see is a fully-resourced Garda plan for Louth which includes greater Garda visibility and an increase in community-based Gardaí.”