Fianna Fáil Councillor Aengus O’Rourke has welcomed the commencement of garda recruitment at a time when numbers in the force are slipping to a dangerously low level.
“I am calling on the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to ask the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to carry out an audit of the areas and units within An Garda Síochána that need extra resources.
“The recommencement of garda recruitment is extremely welcome. This is a long overdue step. It comes at a time when the force has been subjected to sustained cuts and desperately needs more resources and more manpower,” said Cllr O’Rourke.
He welcomed the Minister’s promise of an overall intake of 300 garda recruits in 2014 as an important step forward and it must signal a Government commitment to boost garda numbers across the country on a longer term basis.
“What we need now is a full audit of garda units and garda districts to see which areas are in greatest need of additional manpower. Over the last two years Athlone has seen our plans for a new station scrapped, we have seen midlands communities lose their garda stations and garda vehicles; we have seen Athlone go from eight community Gardai to two and we have lost some specialised units.
“We have also seen major gaps appearing in vital units within in the force. It is crucial that the areas that most need a boost in garda presence receive that boost as a result of this new round of garda recruitment,” he concluded.
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