Community policing unit numbers ‘critical’

by Ian Begley
0 comment

Claims have been made that numbers in the community policing unit at Blanchardstown garda station are at a “critical level” but gardai from the station say that the force is beginning to grow and are fighting to get a fair share of new guards for the Dublin 15 area.
Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF), who made the claim following last week’s Joint Policing Committee meeting, asked a question in relation to the current strength of the community policing unit in Dublin 15 due to the promotion of a Garda covering the Corduff/ Mulhuddart area and was told that as it stands, there was no replacement.
He said: “This now leaves the numbers in the community policing units at a critical level.
“They simply cannot do their job if they don’t have the resources.
“Crime and anti-social behaviour will undoubtedly increase without this vital resource.
“I am also disappointed that the experience and detailed knowledge built up over the years by the community policing units is going to be lost because there are no replacement gardai when there is either a retirement, maternity leave or a promotion.
“This unfortunately leads to a loss of that experience and detailed knowledge of who is who in the community.
“I understand that the unit now stands at six or seven, down from a high of 24. That’s a massive drop of 75% in eight years.”
Patrick Clavin, chief superintendent of the DMR West Division, told The Gazette that although he did not have the exact number of community gardai from the Dublin 15 area at hand, said the figures Cllr Donnelly provided are not accurate.
“The Garda Siochana faced a lot of constraints for about five years with no recruitment, but thankfully recruitment began again last year.
“We are now fighting to get a fair share of new guards for Blanchardstown. Ten new gardai arrived at the station last year and we’re hoping for increased numbers this year.
“We are also looking at filling vacancies created by promotions as well as transfers.”
Speaking about the role that the community policing unit play in Dublin 15, superintendent Clavin added: “We have community gardai assigned to particular neighbourhoods, which deal with problems such as vandalism, public order offences or drunkenness – things that cause a pain for communities.
“There was a very strong attendance at the local policing committee last week, which means that people are very interested in getting a quality policing service.
“We want people to tell us what their issues are so we can do our best to address their concerns.
“We will also host an open day in Blanchardstown Garda station later this year to welcome people right throughout the Dublin 15 area,” he said.

Related Articles