Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne has slammed the Government for its lacklustre approach to dealing with growing crime rates in Meath.
The Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Meath East made the comments after confirmation that Ashbourne has the highest level of serious crimes against property in the entire country.
Senator Byrne commented, “New figures show that eight out of ten of the most serious crimes against property in Ashbourne and Trim are going unresolved. This is the highest rate in the entire country and shows that Fine Gael and Labour are failing communities here in Meath when it comes to dealing with crime.
“Last year I warned the Government that it was pursuing a reckless strategy on dealing with crime Fine Gael and Labour slashed Garda numbers in Ashbourne by 13% since coming to office. It’s no surprise that crime has increased in the area as a result, with many burglaries going unresolved. It shows that the Government is simply not taking the issue of growing crime rates seriously.
“Gardai in Ashbourne, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Duleek and Laytown are doing extraordinary work under very difficult circumstances. The resources at their disposal have been eroded by Fine Gael and Labour year on year, and this has reduced their ability to combat opportunistic criminals. Morale in the force is at rock bottom as a result of the policies pursued by the Government.
“Fine Gael and Labour’s track record on crime in Meath is abysmal. They forced the closure of the Garda stations in Kells and Trim since coming to office, and have removed Gardai from communities across the county. This has led to a decrease in Garda visibility on the ground, and has resulted in a surge in crime rates in areas such as Ashbourne.
“We need a change of Government to ensure tackling crime is top of the agenda in the years ahead. We can’t have a repeat of the disastrous justice policies for another five years. The Government, and Fine Gael in particular, cannot be trusted when it comes to tackling crime head on,” said Senator Byrne.