Labour calls for boost in community policing

Senator Mark Wall
27 February 2024

Labour’s Senator Mark Wall in Kildare South is calling on Government to support Labour’s Seanad motion tomorrow February 28th. The motion calls for a significant increase in policing numbers to tackle pressing concerns in our communities.

Senator Wall said

“Sufficient Garda presence is crucial to the well-being and safety of our communities. Community Policing model is a partnership-based, proactive, problem-solving style of policing, focused on community engagement, crime prevention and law enforcement and we need more of it. 

“Fine Gael have been in charge of Justice for 12 years and Garda morale is on the floor.  We’ve heard from a worrying Garda Representative Association survey that there is a worrying culture of bullying, stress and mental burnout within the organisation. There are also far less community Gardaí active than there were a year ago.

“We urgently need to adequately resource our community Gardaí, Government must properly resource community safety partnerships across the whole country, to enable them to fulfil their potential and intent. Without adequate support, these partnerships cannot effectively address the complex challenges facing our neighbourhoods.

“We must significantly increase the number of Juvenile Liaison Officers to provide essential support for young people engaging with Youth Diversion Programmes. Early intervention is key to breaking the cycle of youth offending and fostering positive outcomes.

“Last year, the total strength of An Garda Síochána declined, reaching the lowest level in five years. We know 164 Gardaí resigned from the service compared with 26 a decade ago. This is a 50% increase on the previous year, a six-fold increase on 2016 and Fine Gael are failing to address the issue. Fine Gael’s inadequate response to this crisis is unacceptable. We demand immediate action to address this issue.

“We cannot afford to delay any longer. Government must support Labour’s motion. We need to re-establish small policing areas and significantly increase the recruitment of community focused Gardaí who are tasked with building relationships in local communities. It is time for the government to step up and ensure that our communities have the support they need to thrive and prosper.”

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