Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow Pat Casey says more resources need to be invested in the Wicklow Garda division in order to deter crime.
Deputy Casey made the comments after receiving new information which shows that just 9 newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to Wicklow since recruitment resumed in 2014, making it one of the lowest allocations in the entire State.
Deputy Casey said, “The Wicklow Garda division has suffered enormous cutbacks in recent years. There has been a drop of 15% in the number of Gardaí assigned to the division. This situation arises as the number of retiring members is far higher than the number of newly attested officers being allocated to the Wicklow division.
“New information obtained by Fianna Fáil shows that just 9 newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to the division since recruitment resumed in 2014. In contrast, some 28 Gardaí could retire tomorrow morning if they so wished. The lack of personnel is not only having an impact on front-line policing – specialist units have also seen a reduction in manpower. There has been a 63% decrease in the number of Gardaí assigned to the drugs squad while community policing numbers have fallen by 28%.
“It’s astonishing that just 9 new Gardaí have been assigned to the Wicklow division since 2014. This compares to 45 assigned to Kildare, 28 to Wexford and 26 to Meath. Wicklow has a sizeable population and the Gardaí have to cover a large territorial area which includes numerous urban centres and rural areas. The figures speak for themselves and show that Wicklow simply isn’t getting its fair share of resources, particularly when it comes to the assignment of newly attested Gardaí.
“I have raised this issue in the Dáil with Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald and have highlighted the need for additional resources for the Wicklow Garda division. All I am asking is that Wicklow gets its fair share of the resource allocation.”