Gardai need to respond with an iron-fist to counteract the spate of burglaries that have plagued Tuam recently, according to a Galway county councillor.
Fianna Fáil councillor Colm Keaveney told members of the Galway County Joint Policing Committee (JPC ) at County Hall on Monday that the burglaries had created an atmosphere of fear in the town and called for the implementation of roadblocks if that was needed to deter potential criminals.
Cllr Keaveney said; “There is a fear. There is a very strong perception there is very poor intervention by gardai in relation to burglary. There is a repeated targeting of Tuam because of the motorway. It is an emerging concern from the people who elect us that there appears to be greater emphasis in other areas of policing.
“We need to take strong issue [with] people who take to Facebook and social media to say where Garda checkpoints are, and this is feeding into criminal gangs. If there is a life lost or criminal gangs are using this to evade the authorities it is a grave disservice.
“People are gravely concerned about response times. I am afraid citizens will take their own actions in their own hands in order to defend their property and retrieve their own property. There is a fear of disproportionate attention to road [issues] as opposed to catching people off the street.
“People are looking for a firm, iron-fisted, response to protecting their communities. I want to see roadblocks if that’s what’s needed. I know it is expensive and from an intelligence point of view, maybe a waste of time, but people want to be protected. Burglars need to be confronted.”