Reducing garda numbers 'reckless endangerment'
Published 14/04/2011 | 05:00
A GARDA leader has accused the Government of "reckless endangerment" by reducing the strength of the force without a proper study to examine the impact of the cuts on the safety of the public.
The charge was levelled by Garda Representative Association (GRA) president Damien McCarthy, who told its annual conference the force needed to be "stress-tested" before implementing cutbacks.
"The force is just getting by," Mr McCarthy said.
"If a major emergency or terrorist action is unleashed, then the resources on paper may not match those on the street. This is reckless endangerment."
He felt it was ridiculous that the national police force could be systematically reduced without objective data on policing demands.
Mr McCarthy said the plan to cut the strength of the force from 14,500 to 13,000 by 2014 was not made for the real world, where crime and fear were the big issues.
He told Justice Minister Alan Shatter it was his role, and not the Government's, to decide on the number of gardai needed.
The GRA chief said that when banks claimed they needed refinancing, academics were brought in to "stress test" them before the EU and International Monetary Fund would lend the money.
He suggested a similar methodology be applied to the number of gardai needed.