Fianna Fáil Deputy Charlie McConalogue has said that burglaries and thefts continue to be a major problem across Co Donegal, despite the good work of gardaí on Operation Liath.
The Donegal Deputy commented, “The Justice Minister has hailed Operation Liath a ‘success’. While the excellent work of the gardaí involved must be certainly commended, we are a long way off tackling the increased crime rates in Donegal communities.
“The reality is that there continues to be a very serious problem with burglaries, muggings, thefts and vandalism in many communities across Donegal. Older people living alone are feeling more vulnerable than ever. Many have seen their neighbours or friends targeted by criminals and others have seen the reports of terrible incidents here over the past number months. And they are watching as their local garda resources are cut to the bone.
“Donegal has lost five local garda stations so far this year. The garda fleet in this region is totally inadequate. There are major gaps in the garda force in Donegal. In the face of all of this, our local gardaí are going above and beyond the call of duty every single day, despite being constantly undermined by the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. In many cases these cuts are preventing them from doing their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“There is no time for complacency about the extent of the crime problem in Donegal. New figures released by the CSO this week show that nationally, the number of burglaries has increased by 17% over the past year, while robberies, hijackings and extortions have jumped by over a third. More worryingly, only 1 in 4 burglaries and 1 in 3 thefts are actually detected.
“The gardaí must be supported in their continued efforts to tackle these criminals and keep our communities safe. Right now they are being undermined at every turn as Minister Shatter continues to dismantle the force. We need to protect our local garda resources, maintain our local garda stations, ensure a safe and efficient fleet and lift the ban on recruitment in the gardaí.”