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Ó Laoghaire & Ní Riada launch Sinn Féin plan to tackle crime in rural areas

3 May, 2019 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice & Equality and TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire & Ireland South MEP Liadh Ní Riada published their party’s plan to tackle crime in rural areas.

Speaking at the launch in Midleton, Teachta Ó Laoghaire stated that there was a need for the Minister for Justice to respond to the increased concern that exists in rural communities regarding Crime.

The Cork South Central TD said;

“People deserve to feel safe in their communities. Unfortunately, in recent times, due to a reduction in Garda visibility and increases in certain types of crime, in many communities across Ireland, that is not the case. People feel concerned and, in several rural areas, many feel isolated and vulnerable.

"We have seen very significant incidences of property crime, with the incidence of robbery up 22% on 2017 in most recent figures, combined with significant increases in burglary across large parts of the country. Theft of Farm Equipment has risen by 40% in recent times.

"Most Garda Stations are either at, or below the level they were at in 2014, the year that the Garda College Closed by Fianna Fáil was reopened. Community Gardaí under Fine Gael Governments has fallen by 35% since 2010.  111 out of 564 operational Garda stations, largely in rural areas, are without Broadband."

Ms Ní Riada added;

"The failure to address the deficiencies in Garda presence & equipment is a failure of those living in rural areas.

"This is happening on the watch of Fine Gael, the so called 'Law and Order' Party, and Minister Flanagan has been deaf to the demands of local communities, and the response has been desperately weak.

“The Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner need to step up to the mark, to provide the resources, and put in place the policies which can prevent rural crime, get the Gardaí out on the beat, and give people peace of mind.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire continued;

"This Document outlines what Sinn Féin would do to decisively tackle Rural Crime.

"Sinn Féin would recruit 800 Gardaí per annum to gradually increase the force above 16,000, and recruit 550 Civilian staff a year to free Gardaí up from office work and get them out on the street and on patrol.

"We propose that Rural Crime Task Forces be formed in all rural Garda Stations, and reform Joint Policing Committees to give them more powers and give local Communities more influence on policing.

"We would implement Taisceadán, the National Property Register, to ensure that it is easier to detect people handling stolen goods, and return these goods to their owners.

Ms Ní Riada said that Sinn Féin will deliver proper policing for rural communities; 

"Sinn Féin would ensure all Rural Garda Stations have access to broadband and implement the Commission on Future of Policing recommendations on technology and provide Gardaí with the tools to tackle crime in rural and remote areas - Gardaí are still frustrated at lack of GPS equipment.

"We would bring Community Gardaí back up to 2010 levels, and create a  a simpler application process  and additional funding for the Community CCTV scheme.

“Rural communities deserve good quality services, and security just as much as citizens in Urban areas, and Sinn Féin will deliver that."Tackling crime in rural communities

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