Diminishing garda numbers 'cause for concern' – Adams
The reduction in the number of gardaí in Co. Louth has been highlighted by Sinn Fein TD Gerry Adams who has said that it is 'a cause for concern'.
Figures which he obtained through a series of parliamentary questions show that the number of gardaí in Dundalk has fallen from 133 in 2010 to 120 last year, while countywide the number dropped rom 314 to 286 in the same period.
Deputy Adams submitted the questions following a meeting which he had with senior gardai in Dundalk along with councillors Edel Corrigan and Jim Loughran. He described the meeting as 'very positive', saying that it covered a range of issues of importance to citizens in county Louth and the border region.
'The discussion covered garda strategy in the region and available garda strength and resources. We also discussed the increase in the number of burglaries, drug related crimes, cross border policing arrangements, community safety policing and the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.'
He then submitted 15 parliamentary questions seeking information from the Minister for Justice in respect to garda strength on the ground in Louth and other related matters.
'The Minister's reply is a cause for considerable concern in that it shows Garda numbers in Louth have fallen from a high in 2010 of 314 gardaí to a low in 2013 of 286.
'In the same period the number of gardaí available in the urban areas of Dundalk and Drogheda fell from 133 to 120 and from 100 to 93 respectively.
There is widespread community concern that garda strength in Louth has been operating at below acceptable levels. These figures appear to bear that out and show that the situation is getting worse.
Deputy Adams continued that 'Falling garda resources will do nothing to reassure the community. What we need to see is a fully-resourced garda plan for Louth which includes greater garda visibility and an increase in community-based gardaí.'