Rural communities need protection
Between 2012 and 2013 the Fine Gael led Government closed 139 Garda stations across rural Ireland and this allowed criminals to target it. The government has constantly denied there is a problem with rural crime saying that the statistics are down but this is not the experience of families living in rural Ireland.
The failure of Government to respond to the pressing need for more Gardaí on the ground, together with the greater ability for criminals to access rural Ireland via the improved motorway network have both had a real impact.
People have been left terrorised in their own communities. People are so disillusioned with the response by the government so far that they have set up their own anti-crime community groups. While Gardaí on the ground have been doing their best to respond to this problem but they do not have the adequate resources to respond effectively. There is a serious shortage of manpower and equipment to allow for a rapid and effective response when needed.
Large proportions of crimes (particularly robberies) are being carried out by those on bail for other offences or by people with previous convictions for similar serious offences. We must respond to this by introducing deterrents against reoffending. Fianna Fáil will introduce tougher bail laws and legislation to make electronic monitoring a condition of bail for anyone convicted of a serious offence in the previous 10 years or anyone who is alleged to have committed an offence whilst on bail for another offence.
Fianna Fáil’s plan to protect rural communities
More rural Gardaí
Increase the numbers of Gardaí on the ground in local communities.
Reopen the closed Garda stations
Reopen Garda stations in rural areas that are vulnerable to criminal activity and without a nearby 24 hour Garda presence.
Rural Crime Taskforce
Establish a Rural Crime Taskforce within An Garda Síochána.
New CCTV funding.
Increase funding and support for Garda controlled CCTV that can be used by an Garda Siochana to detect and deter criminal activity.
Stronger bail laws
Strength our bail laws to make it more difficult to get bail and amend legislation to make electronic monitoring a condition of bail where an application for bail is made by a person who has been convicted of a serious offence in the 10 years prior to the application or where the person is alleged to have committed the offence whilst on bail for a separate offence.