‘Lack of garda visibility is contributing to the increased crime rate’

by Mark O'Brien
Rathcoole garda station, reports of increase in crime

Garda numbers in Rathcoole have dropped by over 40% in the past five years while reports of thefts in the area continue to increase.

There were 27 gardai stationed in Rathcoole in 2012, but that figure now stands at 15.

The information was obtained through a parliamentary question by Fianna Fail TD John Curran, who is calling for more gardai to be allocated to the area.

“I am calling on the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to ensure that Rathcoole Garda station receive an increased allocation of new gardai when a new tranche of 200 trainees graduate later this year,” he said.

There were 86 vehicle thefts in Rathcoole in the first half of this year – an increase of 56% on the previous year.

There has also been a 21% increase in shop theft and a total of 56 burglaries in the area between January 2017 and August 2017.

Deputy Curran said that he felt that a lack of garda visibility was contributing to the increased crime rate.

“It is of some concern that according to the Minister’s reply Rathcoole Garda station is open 10am to 1pm and 2pm – 6pm Monday to Sunday, subject to the availability of Garda personnel,” he said.

“We need to see more gardai on the streets and in our towns and villages. Visibility plays a huge part in deterring crime and easing the fears of local people.”

Deputy Curran added that as a member of the Joint Policing Committee, he was acutely aware of the issues in the area.

“It’s important that the people of Rathcoole feel secure,” he said. “That means having visible Garda presence in the Rathcoole.”

A garda spokesperson said that it was not their policy to discuss the allocation of gardai to individual stations, but added: “Local Garda Management closely monitors the allocation of all resources in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level, to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.”

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