Garda figures plummet for community policing

Garda figures plummet for community policing

By Maurice Garvey

THE number of gardaí assigned to community policing in the DMR West Division has fallen by almost 50 per cent since September 2014.

Dublin Mid-West TD, John Curran, says the information obtained by Fianna Fáil, highlights the need for the Government to strengthen garda numbers assigned to community policing.

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The DMR West Division includes Clondalkin, Ballyfermot, Lucan, Rathcoole, Ronanstown and Blanchardstown/Finglas.

Deputy Curran said: “The information shows that 64 gardaí were assigned to community policing in 2014, but this figure has now fallen to 35 as of September 2016.

“This year alone there has been a 10 per cent decrease in the number of officers allocated to community policing in DMR West.

“Community gardaí are critical in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, while ensuring people feel safe in their own neighbourhoods.

“The 2015 Garda Inspectorate report raised serious concerns surrounding the commitment to community policing, and made the recommendation that more gardaí be assigned. However, these figures show that this is not happening.”

He continued: “The Dublin West Garda division recorded over 550 incidents of serious crime in the first two quarters of this year.”

Deputy Curran says the confidence and supply arrangement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael commits to provide an additional 2,000 gardaí which “must become apparent on our streets.”

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald says 50 new garda recruits have been assigned to DMR West since the reopening of the Garda College in 2014.

The latest figures provided by the Justice Minister, show a decrease in garda numbers at stations across the division.
Clondalkin Garda Station had 100 gardaí in 2010 and 92 on September 30, 2016.

Ballyfermot had 100 gardaí in 2010, and 83 in 2016, Lucan went from 82 to 73, Rathcoole from 29 to 20, and Ronanstown from 95 to 89.

Government funding is in place to provide for the recruitment of 800 garda recruits in 2017.

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