Garda frontline reduction concerning for public safety - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Justice and Equality, Martin Kenny TD, has described the news that the Garda Commissioner is seeking a reduction in frontline operations in order to reduce costs, as very concerning for public safety.
Deputy Kenny said:
"In the Commissioner's latest report to the Policing Authority, he has said there was an over spend in Garda pay, due to overtime and that the service was over budget by €4.5 million by the end of July.
"In order for the Garda spend to come in on budget, the Commissioner is looking for cuts to operational policing. This is at a time when property related crime such as theft is increasing.
"Crimes such as assault are up 7% and sexual assaults are at record levels. In this context, deciding to reduce operational policing is very concerning for public safety.
"One of the reasons the Garda budget is so stretched is that the cost of policing President Trumps visit earlier this year, which was taken out of this year’s Garda budget rather than coming from a special allocation.
"Public safety is now being put in jeopardy partly because of the security operation around Donald Trump and this is unacceptable.
“I'm calling on the Minister and the Government to ensure the Gardaí are properly resourced to prevent crime and serve the public.
"The bigger picture has to be taken into account as reducing policing in the community always comes at a great cost to society in the longer term."