Shatter taking policing 'in wrong direction'
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is taking policing in a “wrong direction” according to Fianna Fáil, which will tonight table a private members’ motion opposing cuts to Garda resources.
Speaking outside Leinster House this morning, the party’s Justice Spokesman Niall Collins commented on the closure of 100 Garda stations by Thursday.
“If we are to have a true community policing model it is not the way to go. Minister Shatter is taking policing in the wrong direction.”
His motion would call on Government to review the closures, to halt the reduction in Garda numbers and to reopen the Garda training college at Templemore.
“He also hasn’t given a proper budget to Garda management to pay the full complement of members in the force. They are estimating they only have a budget now to pay up to 12,000 members. Now if the complement of the serving force drops below 13,000 members the rostering system which the Minister is heralding at every opportunity as such a success, will collapse.
“We know there is (sic) just under 13,500 in the force and with retirements it will drop below 13,000 and without a proper budget to pay the payroll for the next 12 months. I think people are right to be very worried. We have seen the upsurge in burglaries across the country. We’ve seen the upsurge in gangland activity. We’ve seen the upsurge in crimes against the person, muggings, and the Minister seems to be oblivious to it. He’s completely out of touch with how communities are feeling particularly about the Garda station issue,” he said.
“The Garda stations are a hub within our communities. Some of them are part-time. We recognise that but they offer a service to the communities they operate out of. People are hurting out there when they see the Minister for Justice who has overall responsibility for protecting them, their property and their lives, is taking this form of direction.”