Garda Reserve recruitment welcome but Government must implement community safety proposals

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TD Mark Ward has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Justice that a Garda Reserve recruitment campaign will commence soon. This was a key proposal by Sinn Féin. However, he warned that this must only be a first step and that government must act on other measures Sinn Féin has called for as well. The information was supplied to party spokesperson on Justice Pa Daly TD in reply to a Parliamentary Question about the Garda Reserve regulations.

Teachta Ward said “Communities deserve to feel safe and protected. However, we know here in Dublin Mid-West that the reality is that many communities feel badly let down. They want to see more Gardaí on the streets and to know that when they need help Gardaí will be there to protect them. “Last year I highlighted the reduction in Gardaí in the Dublin Metropolitan Region by nearly 10% since 2011, all the while the population of Dublin Mid-West has increased. This means a dramatic decrease in Garda numbers relative to the local population.

“The Minister has finally confirmed to Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Pa Daly TD that she will bring Garda Reserve regulations to cabinet for approval within the coming weeks. This is a key issue that Sinn Féin have been demanding action on for months. “This is welcome and long-overdue news. I welcome that the Minister has finally heeded these calls, as communities in Dublin Mid-West have been desperately seeking support for some time now. “Although Reserve members cannot replace full time, highly trained and sworn Gardaí, they can offer a capacity to cover events and other duties which would otherwise occupy full time Gardaí.

“With news that the removal of the upper age limit, something Sinn Féin also called for, has seen an increase in applications to the latest Garda recruitment drive, progress in this area needs to be seen soon. “Communities deserve to feel safe and protected. But the reality is that communities feel badly let down by Fine Gael’s soft-touch approach to crime. People in Dublin feel abandoned by this out of touch government and they need to see urgent change.

“Sinn Féin will continue to hold the government to account, with recruitment targets needing to be met and exceeded to restore service levels by An Garda Síochána to what is required to ensure public safety. A Sinn Féin government will ensure communities can feel safe and protected in Dublin Mid-West and across the state. “I will continue to push for the implementation of all Sinn Féin’s other proposals on getting to grips with policing; including delivering a public transport police unit and a recruitment and retention taskforce. A Sinn Féin government would stand up for communities in Dublin Mid-West to ensure they can feel safe and protected.”

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Sarah Brooks

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