Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte says the Government must follow through on its commitment to increase Garda numbers and invest in resources to ensure that crime is tackled effectively.
As part of the Fianna Fáil Confidence and Supply arrangement, Fine Gael has agreed to increase Garda numbers to 15,000 and support investment in CCTV at key locations along the road network and in urban centres.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “Over the past five years we have seen the serious depletion of Garda resources and manpower here in Galway, which has led to an increase in fear in many rural communities. Older people and people living in isolated areas have been disproportionately affected, but every village has been on edge to some degree.
“Since 2011, the number of marked Garda patrol cars in east Galway has been cut – from 17 in 2011 to just 12 this year. This reduction in a visible Garda presence has undoubtedly had an impact not only on crime rates, but also on people’s confidence levels. Communities feel safer when there is an active Garda presence, but this has been eroded through a lack of resources. The fall also impacts on the Gardai’s ability to fight crime.
“Here in east Galway we have witnessed a spate of burglaries over the past year, with many believing the motorway network is making it easier for travelling gangs to target nearby towns and villages. Without access to a sufficient Garda fleet these criminals are able to use the road network without fear of being apprehended by the authorities.
“Fianna Fáil fought for improved Garda numbers and resources during its negotiations with Fine Gael and is pleased to have secured a commitment in the Programme for Government to increase Garda numbers to 15,000 and investment in CCTV at key locations along the road network. This will make a real difference to families, towns and villages in Galway and around the country and Fianna Fáil will continue to pursue measures to tackle crime and protect our communities”.