Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, says this week’s public meeting on crime in Birr was extremely productive and gave many people a chance to air their concerns about a range of issues, including the rise in rural burglaries.
The well attended public meeting was held at the County Arms Hotel in Birr and there were contributions from Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson, Niall Collins as well as former Garda Sergeant Benny Mills from security company Netwatch.
Deputy Cowen commented: “Wednesday night’s meeting was a huge success and there were a wide range of issues discussed regarding crime and the cruel cuts to Garda resources. The overwhelming feeling coming from the meeting was a genuine fear that crime will increase in remote areas with the closure of rural Garda stations and cuts to community Garda resources.
“People are petrified; many feel they will be targeted for burglaries and other crimes. The security blanket that was the local Garda in the local station has been taken away and recent statistics point to the fact that rural burglaries are on the increase. Minister Alan Shatter’s ham fisted approach has alienated the Gardaí and struck fear into rural communities.”
Deputy Cowen also praised the contribution of former Garda Sergeant Benny Mills, who now works with security company Netwatch.
“Benny Mills from Netwatch gave a very impressive presentation at the meeting and he had some great advice for people looking to better secure their homes and businesses. As a former Garda himself, he was in a unique position to offer insight into the how people can best protect their property.
“Fianna Fáil will continue to challenge the Government about cuts to local Garda resources and call for a reversal to the ridiculous decision to close 100 Garda stations throughout the country.”