Sunday 19 November 2017

New rapid response units proposed to tackle rural crime crisis

A member of the Garda ERU holds an MP7 File Picture
A member of the Garda ERU holds an MP7 File Picture

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

FINE Gael has proposed the rolling out of new rapid response units and an investment in CCTV cameras along the road network in a bid to tackle the rural crime crisis.

The party says it will ensure Operation Thor, which is designed to tackle burglary gangs, is extended under a Fine Gael-led government.

And there will also be consideration given to extending the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) nationwide.

The proposals are contained in a five page document on crime prevention and justice that was circulated to Independent deputies at today’s crucial talks aimed at forming a Government.

Notably, the document makes no commitment to reopening rural garda stations - which is a significant bone of contention for backbench TDs.

But the paper, seen by, says overtime will be provided for dedicated teams of gardaí deployed in parts of rural Ireland.

There will also be a comprehensive review of rural policing and tough new bail conditions introduced.

In relation to the area of courts, the document says Fine Gael will reduce excessive delays to trials and court proceedings by introducing pre-trial hearings.

Female representation on state boards will be increased to 40pc, according to a section entitled ‘empowering women’.

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