Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Justice and Equality, Jim O’Callaghan TD has expressed his concern regarding the fall in the number of Garda detectives operating within divisions nationwide.

Deputy O’Callaghan was commenting on new information obtained by him through a Parliamentary Question which indicates that the number of detectives assigned to An Garda Síochána continues to decrease despite a high level of undetected and unreported crime in some areas.

“In October just passed, there were just 804 detectives in the force, an 11% drop since May 2015 when there were almost 100 more detectives on the streets.

“The decreases throughout divisions appear to have accelerated in 2016, with 70 detective positions being lost since last May,” explained the Deputy.

“The capital has taken a dramatic hit with a 15% drop in eighteen months while its western division including areas such as Tallaght and Clondalkin is down by 20%. It is simply inexcusable given the outbreak of violent gangland crime in our capital city, we do not have a greater number of detectives working across divisions to protect our communities.

“In light of the decrease in crime detection rates recorded between 2010-2014 and recently published by the CSO, the Minister should be looking at increasing the number of detectives on our streets and not allowing this slide in numbers to continue.

“While all Gardaí play a crucial role in the detection and prevention of crime, communities affected by serious and often organised crime require the support of specialist detectives.”