Communities in Galway and across the State will be put at risk while the gardaí will be “thrown into disarray” if plans to reduce by 1,400 this year come into force.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil city councillor Peter Keane who has expressed “alarm” at the reports. According to the councillor, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has stressed the need to maintain the force at 13,000, but Justice Minister Alan Shatter, by cutting the Garda payroll by €35 million, has forced Garda management to look at reducing numbers in the force by more than 1,400.
“Such drastic reductions in such a short period of time will reduce community policing to dangerously low levels,” said Cllr Keane. “People are genuinely baffled at what happened to the tough-talking law and order opposition spokesperson Alan Shatter was. He has turned into a highly destructive Minister, pursing dangerous policies that fly in the face of the public interest.”
Cllr Keane’s comments come in a week when the Western Garda Divisional Office Annual Crime Figures Report confirms an increase in burglaries, theft, drug offences, and a marked increase in the number of rapes reported in the city during 2012.
The report is due to be discussed at next Monday’s meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee Meeting of which Cllr Keane is a member.