Garda numbers are going down, crime is going up – O’ Reilly
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O’Reilly has outlined the serious consequences resulting from the reduction of Garda numbers – including an increase in certain serious offences in the Dublin region.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy O’ Reilly said:
“Crime is endemic in our city currently. And what shocks me most is that we are slowly becoming desensitized to it -Whether it is a horrific gangland shooting or an aggravated burglary. It is not sufficient to just have Garda responses to crime; we want Garda prevention of crime.
“CSO statistics from the last quarter of 2015 show that in the Dublin Metropolitan area, the type of offences that increased from the third to the fourth quarter of 2015 include attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences; dangerous or negligent acts; and kidnapping and related offences. Let me be very clear. These are not minor offences. Crime, in whatever guise, has a crippling effect on the victim, their family, their community.
“In the Dublin North Metropolitan area, there is currently a 666 strength Garda force. This is down from 826 in 2009. We lost 2 Gardai since last year; 15 since 2014; 48 since 2013; 78 since 2012; 108 since 2011. Furthermore there are no plans to station new recruits in any station in Fingal.
“You cannot divorce Garda station closures from crime statistics. Nor can you divorce reductions in Garda numbers over the past number of years. To do so undermines the role that Gardaí play. The underlying argument- that crime is real, prevalent and growing in many areas- cannot be ignored or batted away. Garda numbers are going down, crime is going up.
“Don’t let the small increase in recruitment or promises of increases under the Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael programme for government cloud our memories or our judgement on this issue. If we are serious about tackling crime, we need to restore Garda numbers.
“A response to a parliamentary question from the Minister for Justice stated that there were no proposals to re-open any Garda stations in 2016. As the door opens on a new Government- will this be the case? What blueprint will there be for crime prevention, as well as response? And most importantly, will we have a strategy that is cognisant that rural and urban policing cannot be at the expense of each other?”