Tallaght locals raise demands for gardai

by Padraig Conlon

Frightened residents in Tallaght are calling for an increased garda presence to deal with rising problems of serious anti-social behaviour.

In the past weeks, vicious attacks on buses, taxis and delivery drivers have left the local community outraged and on edge.

At the start of last month Tesco suspended deliveries to the area after one of their delivery drivers was shot with a pellet gun at Killinarden Hill.

In the latest shocking incident, a taxi driver was injured and robbed in his car last weekend during an early morning assault by two passengers in Jobstown.

According to figures recently obtained by Fianna Fail, public order offences and other social code offences increased in the local area by almost 30% in 2018.

Despite this, there are 88 fewer gardai policing in the district now than in 2010.

Cllr Charlie O’Connor (FF) told Dublin Gazette: “It won’t come as much of a shock to locals that statistics have shown a rise in a number of crimes in our area.

“Residents living in Tallaght have been forced to endure all sorts of hassle, whether it’s been attacks on supermarket delivery drivers dropping off groceries, or suspended Dublin Bus services due to anti-social behaviour.

“The illegal use of scramblers and quad bikes continue to pose a danger to public safety but with 88 fewer gardai, it’s no wonder that people are frustrated and don’t feel protected without a visible garda presence,” he said.

Cllr O’Connor added: “Garda resources in our county are clearly not strong enough to deter and prevent criminality or anti-social behaviour.

“More and more incidents are taking place each week and rather than face it or feel intimated, residents choose to stay indoors.

“That inevitably impacts negatively on the sense of community.”

Cllr O’Connor questioned why garda numbers have not increased in line with the rise in the local population.

He said: “Tallaght is a densely populated urban town that has so much to offer.

“The ordinary, law-abiding residents that call it home should not have to put up with disorder on their doorsteps or streets.

“It’s only logical to consider that there could be a correlation between the reduction in gardai on the beat and the rise in some criminal offences.

“Tallaght has expanded since 2010; more people have moved into the area, so why is it that rather than appoint more gardai to police [the area], the number has dropped? That is unacceptable.”

In response to an enquiry from Dublin Gazette regarding garda numbers in Tallaght, a spokesperson for An Garda Siochana said:

“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.

“[This is managed] to ensure optimum use is made of garda resources, and the best possible garda service is provided to the public.

“Senior garda management is satisfied that an adequate policing service continues to be delivered and that current structures in place meet the requirement to deliver an effective and efficient policing service to the community.

“This situation is continually reviewed.”

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