Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has welcomed long overdue plans for a Burglary Response Unit to tackle the scourge of burglaries that’s plaguing communities across the country.
Deputy Collins was reacting to the news that the Gardaí will now be rolling out armed checkpoints along the M50 motorway in a bid to catch criminal gangs targeting homes and business in the capital and across the commuter belt.
“This will come as some relief to communities that have been crying out for increased garda resources to tackle the surge of burglaries. The rate of burglaries has spiralled out of control since the slash and burn of community garda resources over the past four years, which has seen 139 garda stations shut down, specialist garda units cut to the bone and garda numbers fall to dangerously low levels,” said Deputy Collins.
“The situation has got so bad that I’ve spoken to many people whose homes or businesses have been targeted repeatedly by unscrupulous criminal gangs. These are dangerous, armed, professional criminals who are monitoring people’s activities to establish the optimum time to strike. Every single community across the country has been targeted, while the more affluent areas of Dublin and the commuter belt have been particularly badly hit.
“The Government has spent the past three years denying the extent of this crisis. The current Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and her predecessor Alan Shatter have actually tried to claim that the situation is under control and the incidents are falling significantly. This is simply not true. People feel more unsafe in their homes than ever before while the gardaí have been completely undermined in their fight against crime.
“I very much welcome the fact that decisive action is finally been taken. This Burglary Response Unit must be given every support possible by the Justice Minister to ensure that it can have a real impact on crime levels. We also need to see this kind of targeted response rolled out across the country in areas that are still plagued by burglaries and thefts. And we need a commitment to boost community garda resources so that gardaí once again can have a strong and visible presence in our communities to prevent crime and help residents to feel safe.”