Sinn Féin makes submission to Limerick's Garda Division Policing Plan
Sinn Féin Limerick City representatives Maurice Quinlivan and Tom Collopy together with the party's Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD today met with Superintendent Frank O'Brien to brief him on their submission to the Limerick Division Garda Policing Plan for 2009. In the submission Sinn Féin has urged the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner to re-direct spending in the new context of recession.
Maurice Quinlivan said, "In the context of rising crime and recession An Garda Síochána simply cannot afford to misdirect their spending. A number of examples of monies wasted by the Gardaí were highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General recently. This cannot be allowed to continue. Spending must be tightly matched to community priorities.
"In the context of Limerick we are arguing for drug and gun crime to be a top priority for the Gardaí. We continue to be extremely concerned about the extent of the drug problem in Limerick and its associated crime. Whilst we welcome all drug seizures we are particularly concerned at the increased seizures of heroin which have taken place in recent months and which are an indication of a heroin market here in the City, a market that continues to grow.
"We again urge a more aggressive pursuit of heroin dealers alongside the pursuit of cocaine dealers in the year ahead and are calling for resources to the Garda Drug Squads to be at least doubled in the time ahead. We have all seen the dreadful consequences drugs dealers have brought to the streets of our City."
Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said, "Our submission learns lessons from the Morris and Hartnett reports published this year and our recommendations are grounded in the views of communities themselves. All of our proposals are made in the context of recession and of the resultant tightening budgetary constraints.
"It is our belief that measures can be taken to deploy Gardaí more effectively and efficiently within current funding provisions. A robust process of civilianisation will be fundamental to the delivery of effective policing. This process must be expedited to a level equivalent with our neighbouring jurisdictions in order to quickly and cost-effectively free-up fully trained Gardaí to be redeployed into the fight against crime."
Tom Collopy said, "I particularly want to see increased Garda patrols in those parts of Limerick City which are suffering high levels of crime and anti social behaviour. There should be more patrols on foot and on bicycle with Gardaí engaging positively with the community as they patrol. In our submission we have highlighted a number of 'Hot Spots' and call for action on those. These will allow Gardaí to target local public order 'hot spots' through weekly review, and put in place responsive actions and plans. This new approach to 'Hot spots' of Anti-Social Behaviour, can, I believe, achieve results.
"Whilst our city has many such 'Hot Spots' we suggested we target the following two areas as trial areas. The Quarry Road area in Thomondgate and the Grotto Area in Garryowen, both these areas and many more in the City are suffering from regular and persistent levels of Anti-Social Behaviour."
"We hope this submission from Sinn Féin is well received and many of its recommendations implemented and we trust that our sound proposals will be given proper consideration", Quinlivan Concluded.