Councillor Ciaran Brogan has called for Garda resources in Donegal to be increased.
Cllr. Brogan said as part of an ongoing series of meeting he met with Garda Superintendent, Michael Finnan, to highlight once more the concerns of local communities and businesses in relation to the levels of crime and the feat that it is generating.
He stated, “We have had a number of incidents in the Letterkenny area in recent days, including one where a knife was held to the face of an employee of a local takeaway, a terrifying ordeal for the individual involved.
“Each of these incidents only serves to show what we are dealing with and why it is vital that Garda resources are increased. I strongly believe that we need a coordinated approach involving the Gardaí, public representatives, and local communities in the fight against crime. The strongest of messages must be sent out to the criminals that we won't be found wanting when it comes to fighting back against their illegal activities.
“To aid that fight we need adequate Garda resources and that's the point I strongly reinforced to the Superintendent.”
Cllr. Brogan further stated that he is also calling on the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, to recognise that Donegal is a border county and needs all the resources it can get.
Furthermore, he commented on the closure of rural Garda stations and the impact on local communities, “In addition, I mentioned the Garda Station in Rameltion, the largest town in the local Electoral Area outside of Letterkenny. The closure of rural Garda Stations has, quite obviously, played into the hands of the criminal elements.
“As far as Ramelton is concerned, I am urging that the station there be fully manned – a permanent Garda presence so we can bring the fight to those responsible for crime. I would call on local Minister, Joe McHugh, to use his influence with Minister Fitzgerald, to ensure this becomes a reality and to push the Government into making sure we have the adequate Garda resources in place.”
The Cllr. welcomed the establishment of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and encouraged Residents Associations to be more pro-active in establishing Neighbourhood Watch Schemes.
One of the biggest issues, according to Cllr. Brogan, is drugs and he is urging Gardaí to tackle the problem head on.
He concluded, “Let us, as public representatives and members of the community, work together with the Garda Síochána in reducing crime levels but the Government must do its part and take the blinkers off and face up to the fact that crime doesn’t just arrive for an annual holiday and go away again – it’s here all year round and we’ll continue to pay the price unless the resources are provided to fight it.”
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