Fanna Fáil is holding a public meeting in Kill, Co Kildare tonight (22 January 2013) on cuts to garda resources, garda station closures and the rise in burglaries and thefts.
The meeting will be addressed by Kildare based security expert Jim Brady, and Fianna Fáil’s Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins who has campaigned against what he describes as the ‘total dismantling’ of community garda resources.
Speaking beforehand, Deputy Collins said, “Every day we hear more and more stories about people’s homes being broken into or their cars, bags or phones being stolen. Unfortunately we also hear terribly distressing stories about attacks in the community.
“I have spoken to many people here in Kildare and across the country who are deeply concerned about this. There is real sense of anxiety out about the complete mishandling of the situation by the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Instead of addressing the surge in burglaries and thefts over the past year, Minister Shatter’s response has been to shut down even more garda stations, force cuts in garda numbers and pull more garda resources from the community.
“The Minister is to close three stations in Co Kildare within the next week – Kill, Ballymore Eustace and Ballytore – as well as Donard and Hollywood stations in Wicklow. People just cannot understand why this is happening. All the evidence shows that criminals are currently targeting vulnerable communities and vulnerable households. Having a visible garda presence in a community deters criminals. Removing that presence unfortunately increases the risks,” Deputy Collins said.
Naas Fianna Fáil Representative James Lawless added, “Anyone is welcome to attend what promises to be an informative and engaging meeting. The aim is to allow people to voice their concerns and have their questions on this issue answered. Security expert Jim Brady will also be there to offer some practical advice on securing your home.”