Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has raised concerns about the rise in homicides, kidnappings and theft last year as outlined in new figures from the CSO.
It follows CSO figures released last week which also show a significant rise in murders and manslaughters in 2012.
Deputy Collins has said the figures further emphasise the need for greater investment in community garda resources.
“The Justice Minister Alan Shatter has completely undermined community policing through his slash and burn of local garda stations, his decision to shut down specialised garda units in certain districts, his failure to properly address major gaps in the garda fleet, his failure to replace key garda posts, and his decision to delay the reopening of the garda training college at Templemore. There is no doubt that all of this has had an impact on crime levels,” said Deputy Collins.
“What these figures do not reflect is the series of murders and violent attacks we have experienced so far this year. Too many communities across the country have been affected by this. This is all happening at a time when morale in the garda force is at an all-time low, gardaí are being expected to do far more with less, and many members of the force feel they are not getting anywhere near the level of support that they need from the Minister.
“I have repeatedly asked Minister Shatter to radically change his approach to community policing. It was the wrong decision to shut 140 community garda stations. It was also the wrong decision to inexplicably delay the recommencement of garda recruitment. The Minister has undermined the work of community gardaí at every turn and has refused to provide the support and resources that they need. Communities are suffering as a result.”