Meath Community Garda numbers more than halved – Peadar Tóibín TD
Sinn Féin TD for Meath West, Peadar Tóibín TD, has expressed his dismay at the decrease in the Community Garda force in County Meath. Figures released in a parliamentary question show that the once 16 strong force in Meath has been cut to just seven Gardaí.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“First of all Meath has the lowest number of Gardaí per capita in the State. This has serious consequences for everyone living in the county.
"This further information shocking, but I cannot say that I am surprised. We have seen a rise in anti-social behaviour in towns in Meath in the past few years. Our towns are increasingly becoming host to drug-dealing and crime.
“With the increase in anti-social behaviour, there has been a corresponding decrease in Gardaí. In Meath, there is one Garda on site for every 661 people, while the average number of Gardaí per county is 443.
"These latest figures display the downward trend which is having such a negative impact on our residents.
“The Community Policing model was established in 1987 with the objective of solving crime in e a proactive, solution-based and community driven manner. Unfortunately the resources are simply not being placed into the service.
“The total number of gardaí in the Community Garda force has fallen from 1112 in 2010 to 691 this year. This is a huge drop and I have to question the commitment of the government in actually investing in our policing service.
"With only seven Community Gardaí currently serving in Meath, from 16 in 2011, it’s not hard to join the dots regarding why there has been such an increase in crime.”