Thursday, July 19, 2012
Garda shortage is danger to Wexford communities – Kelly
Cllr Anthony Kelly has called for the lifting of the Garda recruitment embargo as soaring crime rates in County Wexford shows the obvious need to have more officers on the beat in our communities. The Sinn Féin Councillor said recent CSO figures show that there was a 38% rise in burglary offences in County Wexford between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.
“County Wexford is in the grip of a soaring crime wave,” Cllr Kelly said, “Communities, particularly vulnerable and elderly residents, are living in fear. Recent figures show a massive 38% rise in burglary offences in County Wexford between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of this year.”
“This figure is startling, but even more shocking is the completely non-existent response to this crime wave. The Gardaí are simply not in a position to deal adequately with this crisis. They have bore the brunt of government austerity cuts as much as any other group. In the past few months we have seen twenty nine rural Garda stations close their doors for the last time. Two of these were Wexford stations, Ballywilliam and Baldwinstown. Its alarming to note that is only phase one of Garda station closures.”
“More damaging than the closure of these stations is the continued garda recruitment embargo. Sinn Féin has never agreed with the recruitment embargo in any section of our public services. The embargo on frontline garda officers at a time when crime is on the rise makes no sense and cannot be justified. It’s time the government lifted this embargo and allowed more gardaí on the beat so the force can be fully effective again.”
“It would also make sense to arrange for the civilianisation of administrative garda duties in order to deploy more fully trained gardaí on the frontline where there are most urgently needed. It makes no sense that rural garda stations are closing or remaining unmanned while fully trained gardaí are forced to sit at desks and fill out paperwork.”