The Minister accused the GRA of being alarmist and said some station closures can be done safely with the help of new technology, safer transport and improved communications.
But outgoing GRA president Damien McCarthy hit back at Minister Shatter telling him: “Let me tell you Minister – if a house is being burgled, the gardai cannot teleport to your assistance, the gardai cannot police from a remote location by satellite, criminals cannot be apprehended by Skype – and we can’t email armed response.”
He also told the Minister: “So far, you have been soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime, and soft on the proceeds of crime,” he said.
Mr McCarthy accused Mr Shatter of overseeing the force’s withdrawal from the heart of the community.
Mr Shatter responded: “Let me tell you, sir, I am hard on crime, be it white-collar crime or any other sort of crime.”