Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Louth Cllr Declan Breathnach has called on the Government to deploy additional resources to the Gardai to help them tackle crime in border communities.
Cllr Breathnach also called for greater cross-border co-operation between the Gardai, the PSNI and other state agencies to help prevent crime and tackle organised criminal gangs.
“Crime has been a growing issue across Ireland, but it is particularly problematic in border areas. Gardai in north Louth are under-resourced and lack the necessary tools to effectively tackle criminals who operate on both sides of the border. This has to change,” said Cllr Breathnach.
“Garda numbers in Louth are down nearly 12% since Fine Gael and Labour have come to power. They have allowed manpower in the force to fall below a critical level and this is having a detrimental impact on operational policing. There simply are not enough Gardai in Louth to adequately protect communities and prevent gangs from using the border to further their criminal activities. The Government needs to ramp up Garda recruitment to bring the force back up to the required level of manpower. Investment in the Garda vehicle fleet is also needed to ensure Gardai can properly patrol border areas.
“The Government needs to work to ensure there is greater co-operation between the Gardai, PSNI, Customs and other state authorities. It’s only by working together that we can realistically target criminal gangs operating on both sides of the border. I believe the Defence Forces also have a role to play in gathering intelligence and sharing it with the Gardai to help track the activities of criminal gangs.
“It’s time Fine Gael and Labour got serious about tackling crime in border communities. Fianna Fáil has devised a 7 point plan to tackle rural crime and wants to see more Gardai recruited and stricter sanctions introduced for people convicted of serious crimes.”