Pat the Cope Gallagher has welcomed the news that the garda budget will be increased by €81 million and there will be an additional 700 new recruits to the force next year.
The Donegal Deputy said it is important that we continue to invest in policing and security of the state.
Total investment in justice and policing will see an increase of €120 million next year, a 4.7% increase on last year’s Budget.
This increased investment is urgently required, and more Gardaí are required in both rural and urban areas, he said.
Deputy Gallagher added the closure of 139 Garda Stations by Fine Gael in Government, together with the decreasing numbers of Gardaí, along with a skeleton supply of Garda vehicles led to increased crime and people living in constant fear.
He fumed “This was felt none more so than in rural areas, especially in counties such as Donegal.
“Increased recruitment is a key element of ensuring we have a more visible police force and that people feel safe in their homes.
“Civilian personnel and reservists are key components in ensuring that An Garda Síochána reaches its full potential and this must be addressed.
“With the restructuring of Garda Divisions, we are promised more Garda on frontline duties, this we hope will now become a reality.”
At present the Donegal Division is short by 101 Gardai on its peak numbers in 2010, a drop of 21% in officers.
The Fianna Fail TD said this certainly is leading to reduced service levels for our communities.
“This decline in garda numbers and resources needs to be reversed, and over a gradual period, we require our Garda numbers to be restored in Donegal, similarly it was recently reported that our Garda fleet in Donegal was operating with 25% less Garda vehicles.
“Major investment is required in the Donegal Sligo Leitrim Garda Division in order to restore confidence that they are fully resourced.”Tags: