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Garda station closures put community safety at risk

26 October, 2012 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Padraig Mac Lochlainn has said the closure of up to 80 garda stations throughout the state before the end of the year will put community safety at risk.

Deputy Doherty said attempts by the government to spin the closures as some sort of new policing model are an insult to the communities affected.

Speaking this morning Deputy Doherty said;

“No matter how much spin the government engages in on this issue the fact of the matter is that these closures are part of the government’s cutbacks agenda.

“Attempts to spin this as some sort of new policing model are an insult to the communities affected.

“The reality is that the closure of these stations puts the safety of communities at risk as criminals and anti-social elements receive a boost of confidence in the absence of nearby garda stations.

“The idea that these stations can be replaced by twice weekly clinics beggars belief. Crime does not wait for clinics. Policing is about instant reaction in many cases and this cannot be done remotely.

“Real community policing requires the presence of community gardaí based full time in their local districts. The value of getting to know the community cannot be overstated in terms of both crime prevention and crime solving.

“Both the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Garda Representatives Association, the representatives of rural Ireland and of the vast majority of Gardaí, have rejected these station closures as they now the value of community policing.

“Sinn Féin has put forward budget proposals year after year that have shown how the deficit can be closed without targeting frontline services.”


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