OLDER PEOPLE HAVE begun leaving money on the kitchen table in case they are robbed following rural garda cuts, a Deputy has claimed.
Deputy Thomas Pringle told Taoiseach Enda Kenny today during Leaders’ Questions that he knows of areas plagued by vandals and criminals who have no fear as “they won’t be caught”.
People are so afraid that some people living on their own are leaving 50 quid out on the kitchen table in case they are burgled. That’s no way to live.
He said that the fact there are going to be proposed cuts “makes it all the more worrying”, especially as 40 garda stations have already been closed down. “It is just dangerous,” he said.
He questioned how the Taoiseach equates less gardaí and less stations with efficiency. He also asked him to reconsider the ban on new recruits in counties like Donegal and Mayo.
Deputy Kenny responded that the nature of contact between gardaí and the public has changed over the years and that gardaí have responded to that. He said that there are now 664 stations around the country and that “decisions made here are of interest both in town and country”.
He added that there is “actually little point of having a garda sitting in a decrepit building for three hours on a Wednesday to sign unemployment assistance forms” when what the public demands is visual connection and contact.
The Taoiseach said that money has been made available for the purchase of new garda vehicles, with:
200 new garda cars purchased because of the clapped out nature of a number of them with very high mileage.
Deputy Pringle said some gardaí have to travel over 50 miles for callouts and that since 2008 the number of guards has reduced while staffing levels have fallen.