Wicklow Garda Numbers Halved Since 2010

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Wicklow Garda Numbers Halved Since 2010

atest press release from Jennifer Whitmore TD, issued on Thursday, April 29th 2021…

Social Democrats TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore has called out strongly for an increase in the number of community police in towns and villages across Wicklow in response to rising trends of anti-social behaviour.

“Since the pandemic, there has been a notable increase of incidences of anti-social behaviour as frustrations rise and people including young people have nothing to do outside school.

“I have been in constant contact with local community police who are doing a great job and who also point out the rise in anti-social behaviour attributed to the pressure of lockdown. But it’s also a signal of the lack of sufficient community police and resources across across towns and villages in Wicklow.

“I recently questioned the Minister for Justice on this and was given figures which reveal and continuing decline in the number of community police across Wicklow. Numbers of community police have steadily dropped since 2010 when 23 were available across Wicklow. This figure dropped 10 in February of this year. This trend equates to an astonishing 56% decrease in the number of community police in Wicklow despite the increase in population and increase in anti-social behaviour.

“Community Gardai play an absolutely vital role in discovering and preventing crimes and the fact that they are visible and engaged at community level makes people, especially elderly people, feel safe. They can engage with individuals and groups in a more targeted, holistic way as a result of building up local knowledge and trust which is crucial in the success of policing overall. They are doing incredible work with little resources, imagine what they could do to help prevent crime if more units were available to them.

“In response to incidents involving young people across our communities, I have called on the Minister and Garda Commissioner to increase the number of community police in our local towns and villages to address what has been a rising trend in isolated incidences of youth violence.

“As we emerge from lockdown we need to look at where we need to refocus our efforts to decrease the trend of anti-social behaviour, particularly for young people who have been largely ignored in Government decision-making and who are experiencing mental health issues and social isolation,” concludes Whitmore.