Sunday 16 December 2018

'Garda resources in capital have hit rock bottom' says Dublin's most senior officer

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Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

The capital's most senior investigator has said that garda resources in Dublin have "hit rock bottom"- with the city down almost 900 gardaí since 2009.

Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, who is responsible for policing in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR), said that allocations to specialist units and transfers to the country had reduced frontline policing for the capital.

However, the senior garda added that he expects the number of gardai policing the city's streets to increase during the Summer for the first time in eight years.

It comes just days after the 14th murder of the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud was carried out, and the 11th feud murder to happen in the capital.

Assistant Commissioner Leahy was speaking at the Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this afternoon, where he also emphasised the force's determination to bring those responsible for the murders before the courts.

"Up to the end of year December 31, the Dublin region has still been going down in terms of available numbers on the streets.

"Despite the fact that there are new personnel, drainage into specialist units and transfers continue to reduce frontline policing.

"On December 31, we were 20pc down on the number we had in 2009, which represents 880 gardaí from all around the city that are gone from the frontline, so it's a substantial loss," the garda chief said.

"We've hit rock bottom, now we should see in the next group of students leaving Templemore. It'll be the first time since 2009 that we actually begin to climb that hill. I expect to see 250 guards coming into the city through 2018 and I'll push for more, but that's what I expect to see.

"They will go to areas where they are absolutely required. The focus will be on community policing and if I have my way we will have to put it in," Assistant Commissioner Leahy added.

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