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Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
gra conference

Crimes 'slipping through the net' due to lack of garda resources

The GRA said businesses and communities are paying the price for poor resourcing and people are now deciding not to report some crimes at all.

CRIMES ARE SLIPPING through the net, according to the President of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), John Parker, who said the public – and businesses in particular – are paying the price for poor policing resources in this country.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference yesterday evening ahead of the association’s annual conference, which begins later this morning, Parker said there had been some good results with large drug seizures recently.

“For every one of those, you can assume that there is equally the same size of shipments of drugs that are slipping the net,” he commented. “And we would say that that is because of the random policing – the spare capacity that we had out there over the last number of years where we had men out on rural roads, increased patrolling [is gone] – the hit and miss factor.”

Under-reporting of crimes

The latest crime figures showed a fall some areas like murder and sexual offences. Parker said some of this is because the force is being more pro-active and “some crime figures will reduce because we’re not there to witness them”.

You know, as they say, if a tree falls in the forest did it really fall?

“A large number of people engage in fights in the street,” he continued. “It disrupts other people but if they don’t ring in, if a guard doesn’t attend and make an arrest it never happened, and we have seen an increase in violent assaults on the street.”

He said “horrific stories” are now emerging in comment threads online of crimes that have not been reported.

Parker also said he would be concerned that businesses are paying the price of for the lack of resourcing with break-ins and vandalism resulting in higher insurance premiums.

It is expected that up to 300 new gardaí may be recruited, once An Garda Síochána makes its way through the 20,000 applications.

However Parker said this is not nearly enough to cover the numbers who have left the force in the last number of years and until real numbers are taken on, communities will suffer.

“When you’re 2,000 employees down, something has to give,” he added.

We’ll be bringing you the latest news from the conference in Killarney over the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled. You can also follow @michellehtweet for updates throughout the day. 

Related: Guns, handcuffs and summer shirts: Here’s what they’ll be talking about at the GRA conference>

Read: 1,000 gardaí are assaulted each year>

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