Figures obtained this week by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice, Jim O’Callaghan TD reveal that the number of vehicles in operation across Garda divisions in Dublin has fallen dramatically since the beginning of 2018.
Commenting on the data, the Dublin Bay South TD said, “Just this week we learned of a rise in the number of sexual offences, serious assaults, incidents of robbery, fraud and drug offences. It is fair to say that the current trends in crime are more complex and challenging than in previous times.
“The illegal use of scramblers and quad bikes continue to frighten communities across our city and county. One of the few ways of containing the problem while we assess the necessary legislative changes required is for Gardaí to regularly patrol the areas affected.
“It’s deeply concerning that judging by these figures there are not enough vehicles attached to Garda stations for this to be happening. For instance, DMR West which happens to be one of the worst affected areas by both scramblers and organised crime now has 30 fewer vehicles than it had at the beginning of last year.
“We were told by the Minister in 2016 that over €40 million was specifically provided for investment in the Garda fleet up to 2021. I was assured this week that a capital allocation of €10 million has been made available to An Garda Síochána for the purchase of vehicles this year.
“Yet, there are significant gaps in the allocation of vehicles in divisions across Dublin. It’s obvious then the number of Garda patrols is inevitably impeded and their ability to be present on our roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime is greatly restricted.
“If it is the case that a number of older vehicles or those that are no longer roadworthy are being withdrawn from the fleet in the capital then they should be replaced in line with the allocated State funding. Regardless, the uneven distribution of Garda vehicles should not be jeopardising the safety of those living in a major European capital city.
“The operational demands of Gardaí in Dublin are steadily increasing, they have been for some time, and if the State is not responding to address that then we can surely expect problems.
O’Callaghan concluded, “An Garda Síochána must be supported by Government to be maintained as a modern, visible, responsive police force.