Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Seamus Kirk has called for extra Garda resources following increases in a number of serious crimes in the county. The latest CSO crime figures reveal substantial rises burglary and related offences in the first three months of the year.
Deputy Kirk stated, “A number of organisations have contacted me in recent weeks expressing concern about a spate of robberies in rural areas. The figures from the CSO appear to back up the belief that crime in the area is on the rise. Between January and March this year there were 75 assaults in the Louth Garda Division. There were also 287 burglaries and 478 theft offences committed during that time. All of these offences are significantly higher than for the same period in 2013.
“Many communities across the county are living in fear, particularly those living in isolated and rural areas. They have seen their local Gardai deployed elsewhere and are concerned about crime sprees in their areas. People living alone are particularly anxious and are worried about being targeted by criminals.
“Garda resources in Louth have been severely depleted by this Government. Officers are going above and beyond the call of duty and carrying out their work in extremely constrained conditions. Technology, equipment and Garda vehicles are all in urgent need of upgrading. It is no coincidence that there has been an increase in crime at a time when the force is stretched to the limit. It is little wonder that Garda morale is on the floor, and it is an issue that needs to be addressed swiftly.
“We need to maintain a strong Garda presence in border areas, yet the Minister has not sanctioned any additional resources for the region. In fact, the recruitment of new Gardai has been deferred once again. The Minister cannot afford to neglect falling Garda numbers any longer. It is imperative that we have a robust frontline force, which is visible and active in the community and I would urge her to address the resources and staffing issue without delay”.