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  • Southside

New figures show 90 fewer gardaí on the beat

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019 8:00am
New figures show 90 fewer gardaí on the beat

Garda numbers are down by 90 in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Fianna Fail figures reveal.

New figures show 90 fewer gardaí on the beat

Garda numbers are down by 90 in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Fianna Fail figures reveal.

CRIME figures in parts of the Southside have shot up as Garda strength has diminished, shocking new statistics have revealed.

According to figures obtained by Fianna Fáil, the strength of An Garda Síochána in DMR East has dropped by close to 30 per cent since 2010.

This has directly resulted in 90 fewer gardaí on the beat in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown in the same period of time.

Commenting on the data, Fianna Fáil’s Local Election candidate in Stillorgan, Donal Smith, said that while gardaí that are stationed in Blackrock, Dundrum, Cabinteely, Dun Laoghaire and Shankill work tremendously hard, there are deficits in the policing of communities in Dublin suburbs.

“For instance, public order and other social code incidents have increased in our area by 17 per cent since 2017 while the number of drug related offences and robbery have also risen,” Cllr Smith said.

“I've been told by residents in one local housing estate that some 10 per cent of the homes have been burgled. 

“We can all appreciate that there is an urgent need for a heavy Garda presence in the inner city around the clock in order to contain gangland criminality.

 “However, that shouldn’t mean that the people of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown should be left feeling fearful or criminals believing they can carry out a crime and get away with it.

“Garda patrols work in deterring crime and they make our community a safe place to live,” Cllr Smith added.

 “If there are 90 fewer gardaí in stations in the area then there are certainly fewer patrols and the capacity to fight crime is greatly diminished.

“Those living across Dublin city and county deserve a visible and efficient police force working to protect them. There is no reasonable explanation that could justify a cut of 90 gardaí in any one area of the city.

“Such a cut on resources undoubtedly makes it difficult to maintain public order and to ensure the safety of residents at all times.” Other figures obtained by Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran, revealed that the DMR West Garda division has been hit the hardest compared to other divisions across the country with the number of vehicles in operation having dramatically fallen since the beginning of 2018.

“The DMR West Garda Division is one of the worst affected areas with the reduction in the number of Garda vehicles in the force,” Deputy Curran said. “It’s deeply concerning that judging by these figures there are not enough vehicles attached to Garda stations.

“DMR West, which is one of the worst affected areas by both scramblers and organised crime, now has 30 fewer vehicles than it had at the beginning of last year. Only six new vehicles were added to the fleet in DMR West in 2018 and not one new vehicle has been added to the fleet in this division yet this year.

“The illegal use of scramblers and quad bikes continue to frighten communities across our communities,” Deputy Curran added.

“On street drug dealing and drug use in our area is becoming a real issue for local residents, not to mention the presence of organised crime in the area.

“One of the few ways of containing the problem is for gardaí to regularly patrol the areas affected.

“It’s obvious then the number of Garda patrols is inevitably impeded and their ability to be present on our roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime is greatly restricted. Yet, there are significant gaps in the allocation of vehicles in the division and in divisions across Dublin. 

“We were told by the Minister in 2016 that over €40 million was specifically provided for investment in the Garda fleet up to 2021.

“Fianna Fáil were assured that a capital allocation of €10 million has been made available to An Garda Síochána for the purchase of vehicles this year.

“If it is the case that older vehicles are being withdrawn then they should be replaced.

Deputy Curran added: “The operational demands of gardaí in Dublin are steadily increasing and if the State is not responding to address that then we can surely expect problems.” 

A GRA spokesperson said the deployment of resources was a matter for the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana.

“We note the Commission on the Future of Policing (CoFPI) made recommendations in the area of resource deployment, and have asked that the data being captured by the Roster Duty Management System (RDMS), which is currently operating in Dublin Metropolitan Region East, be used to establish optimal numbers for the division,” a spokesperson said.

“We look forward to this methodology being used for all other divisions when the system is rolled out.

“The GRA has regularly called for an optimum numbers survey to be carried out across the country and we welcome the fact that the Cofpi report makes recommendations in line with our position.”

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