Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that the decrease in number of community Gardaí across Fingal is part of a growing threat to the safety and protection of the local community.

In information received by the Deputy through Parliamentary Question, the number of full time community Gardaí in Fingal has been reduced to 12 for a population of almost 300,000.

Commenting on the figures Deputy O’Brien said, “Not only is Malahide left without a Garda Station after 9pm each night, I have now learned through Parliamentary Question that there is not a single community Garda assigned to the station which serves Malahide, Portmamnock and Kinseally.

“In 2014 there were six community Gardaí in Malahide, there has been a year-on-year decrease since which has left us with zero in the area.

“The presence of Community Gardaí is hugely important and they play a significant role in towns and villages across the county. They build up relationships with local people and are involved in crime prevention measures like Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert.

He added, “Since 2011 there has been an 8% increase in the size of the local population, yet the Department of Justice continues to ignore the need to increase Garda resources in the area

“Over the past 5 years Garda numbers have been cut in the Dublin Fingal area by over 20%. Further to this is the closure of Rush and the downgrading of Malahide.

“Despite the fact that Swords has transformed into the busiest district in the Capital, the area has lost 12 full-time Gardaí while there has been a marked decrease in the number of community Gardaí also.

“Furthermore, the entire Balbriggan area, which has a population of roughly 50,000, is served by just two community Gardaí. Quite shockingly there are none whatsoever operating in Lusk.

“Once the Dáil resumes next Wednesday, I will be seeking assurances from Minister that these dramatic and unacceptable reductions in Community Gardaí will be addressed.

“Fingal must be better protected by Garda resources to adequately target crime prevention and rebuild public confidence,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.