Rathcoole policing issues raised in the Dail

by Padraig Conlon

A local TD has appealed to both the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner to increase garda numbers in Rathcoole.

Fianna Fail Mid West TD John Curran made his plea to Charlie Flanagan in the Dail this week citing rising crime rates in the area.

“There are simply not enough gardaí based in the Rathcoole area to deliver the type of policing service that the Minister stated he wanted,” Deputy Curran said.

“The Minister highlighted in the Dáil this morning the fact that there are now more than 14,000 gardaí.

“In all the stations in my constituency I am seeing the benefit of that but I am not seeing it in Rathcoole Garda station.

“At the end of December 2012, there were 26 gardaí in Rathcoole and 95 in Clondalkin.

“This year, on the last date that I checked, there were 105 gardaí in Clondalkin and 14 in Rathcoole.

“The service is insufficient and unsatisfactory for the population that currently resides there.”

Deputy Curran went on to speak about a public meeting he attended a few weeks regarding resources in the greater Rathcoole area.

He said local people spoke of their own individual incidents, the response from An Garda Síochána and how they want an increased Garda presence in the area.

“There is a physical record of an increase in crime, as reported at the joint policing committees, JPCs,” he said.

“Burglary, for the first four months, in comparison to the previous ones, was up almost 50%.

“Criminal damage was up 47%.

“Theft from motor vehicles was up 67%.

“Public order incidents were up 57%.”

In response to Deputy Curran’s appeal, Minister Flanagan said deployment of Garda resources is solely the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner and his management team.

“With the accelerated recruitment of Garda members continuing this year,” he said.

“It provides the Commissioner with the ability to increase Garda numbers and visibility in all Garda divisions, including the DMR west division.

“Rathcoole Garda station forms part of the Clondalkin district in the Dublin metropolitan region, DMR, West Division.

“The Garda strength of the DMR west division, as of 30 April last, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 715, of whom 200 are assigned to the Clondalkin district and 14 are assigned to Rathcoole Garda station.

“There are also 23 Garda Reserves and 63 Garda civilian staff attached to the DMR west division.

“It is envisaged that the DMR west Garda division will receive further allocations of probationer gardaí from the Garda College this year.

“There is also provision for uniform and plain-clothes patrols within the district to support Garda operations, and support provided by divisional units, such as the divisional and district drugs units, roads policing personnel and community engagement personnel.”

Where appropriate, local gardaí are supported by a number of Garda national units, such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the armed support units, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which also have had an increase in resources this year.

The Minister concluded by explaining how the Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019 and how local parents can help combat the crime rate in the area.

“While An Garda Síochána will continue to tackle anti-social problems head-on, it cannot eradicate the problem of anti-social behaviour alone.

“Specifically in relation to young offenders, it is also up to us as adults, particularly the parents and guardians, to ensure that children are raised to be respectful and law-abiding.”

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