Fianna Fáil are doing what they do best, the politics of hypocritical cynicism in regards to the debate around Garda closures. Sinn Féin are not in a position yet to credibly discuss anything Justice related as long as they have convicted murderers and bank robbers in their party.
The proposals for the consolidation of the Garda Network is based on a thorough operational analysis of the needs of An Garda Síochána and facilitates the delivery of more effective and efficient policing throughout the State as presented in the Policing Plan for 2013. Minister Shatter didn’t decide what stations were to close, They represent the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan’s best operational judgement of how Garda resources may be most effectively deployed.
• Not having to staff these stations will free-up Gardaí for more frontline duties in the areas concerned.
• The proposals are the result of an in-depth assessment made by the Garda Commissioner of the levels of Garda activity and the policing requirements for each part of the country.
• The argument that we must retain every Garda station we inherited on the foundation of the State takes no account of the evolution of Garda policing over a 90 year period, with particular reference to developments in transport, communications and technology
• Previous studies have shown that relatively few people call to Garda stations to report crime or incidents, with many callers simply requiring a Garda signature for a form e.g. passport applications, lost driving licences etc.
Of the stations to be closed:
– 98% are only open part-time
– 94% are open for 3 hours a day or less
– 88% are served by 1 Garda
– Only 5% are served by 3 or more Garda personnel
The two largest stations being closed are in Dublin. These are Stepaside Garda Station in Dublin South (Minister Shatter’s Constituency) which has 34 Garda Members and Kill O’ the Grange in DunLaoghaire (the Tanaiste’s Constituency) which has 28 Garda Members.
Of the 100 stations being closed:
- Only 6 are more than 20km or 12½ miles from the new station.
- 86 are less than 10 miles from the new station, and
- 30 are 5 miles or less from the new station
- When the consolidation is fully effected the number of Garda Stations will still be 564. This is a figure which is very high by comparable international standards.
- Northern Ireland, with 1.5 million people, has 86 police stations.
- Scotland, with 5.2 million people, has around 340 police stations.
But lets not stop Fianna Fáil doing what they do best…. The politics of hypocritical cynicism.