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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Anger as number of elite gardai drops despite bloody gang feud

Stock picture
Stock picture

Chai Brady

The number of detectives policing the capital’s streets has dropped by 15pc in just 18 months, despite the bloody gang feud gripping the city.

There has been a drop of 11pc since May 2015 in the number of detectives nationwide, while the number policing west Dublin, which includes Tallaght and Clondalkin, is down 20pc.

Across the country, there were 100 more detectives on the streets in May 2015, with the losses accelerating last year, when 70 positions were lost.

In recent months, the capital felt the harshest losses as 27 detectives out of 241 were pulled out of their divisions from May to October 2016.

Fianna Fail TD Jim O’Callaghan described the situation as “simply inexcusable”.

“In October just passed, there were just 804 detectives in the force, an 11pc drop since May 2015, when there were almost 100 more detectives on the streets,” he said.

“It is simply inexcusable, given the outbreak of violent gangland crime in our capital city, we do not have a greater number of detectives working across divisions to protect our communities.

“In light of the decrease in crime detection rates recorded between 2010 and 2014 and recently published by the CSO, the minister should be looking at increasing the number of detectives on our streets and not allowing this slide in numbers to continue.”

The Dublin North Central division went from having 38 detectives to 34 between May and October 2016. The DMR Southern division experienced the largest decrease, with a loss of eight detectives from a total of 49, while DMR West lost six from 55.

Cork City has the largest division of detectives, with 77. This has dropped from 81 from May to October 2016. Limerick has the second largest force with 54 detectives in 2016 – three have since left.

Dublin City Councillor Gary Gannon said there should be more of an effort to focus on street crime. 

“Muggings happening on the street, people having phones snatched out of their hands, these are the crimes that are no longer being investigated,” claimed Mr Gannon.

“One of the big complaints is people feel gardai don’t come outside the commercial zones. That’s going to have a knock-on effect in terms of their confidence and how safe they feel,” he added.

A garda spokesperson said: “Garda personnel assigned throughout the country, together with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy, are continually monitored and reviewed.

“They are determined by a number of factors, including population, crime trends and the policing needs of each  individual division.

“Such monitoring ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the general public.”

Herald

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