Tipperary TD Michael Lowry has criticised the Government for ‘shackling An Garda Síochána’ in the fight against crime, by failing to adequately resource the force and for reducing the number of vehicles being made available to them.
The Independent T.D. explained that numerous patrol cars have been grounded for reaching a certain mileage quota, but have not been replaced, therefore leaving stations with reduced resources and limited availability of patrol cars.
He said - “The reduction in the number of patrol cars has greatly impacted on the ability to police rural and urban areas. In many cases I have heard of calls being made to the local Garda station only to be informed that there is no Garda car available and either the individual will have to wait for Garda support or will actually have to collect the Garda themselves. This is obviously causing people to feel more insecure in their homes and to feel defenceless in the face of growing crime.”
“According to the GRA, the force had 2,814 vehicles in 2009 and that this number will be reduced to just 2,238 by the end of this year, with at least one vehicle per week being grounded. This cut is particularly severe given the fact that 200 cars were lost last year and 50 the year previously.”
“Quite simply Gardaí need to have adequate resources to tackle the growing prevalence and sophistication that is seen in crime in Ireland. Without the basic tools of the trade there is little that can be done to fight or prevent crime in our communities.”