Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that resources must be made available to make good on the commitment from the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to address the issue of low Garda visibility in rural Co. Waterford. He made the comments at the quarterly Joint Policing Committee meeting in Waterford.
“I questioned Garda Commissioner Drew Harris on the increase in rural crime and the under-resourcing of rural policing. There is a growing feeling of vulnerability amongst people in rural Co. Waterford due to a lack of Garda visibility on the ground and in rural communities.
“The perception is that crime is increasing in rural area, in both incidence and severity. In recent years a number of rural stations across Co. Waterford have been closed or left more-or-less unattended. There hasn’t been any proportional increase in mobile patrols.
“Due to this there has been a significant increase in burglary, theft, drug dealing, anti-social behaviour, damage to property, and drug-related intimidation.
“The Garda Commissioner has given a commitment that additional resources will be made available to rural policing as part of a reform of Garda structures. This needs to mean boots on the ground and the re-opening of rural stations. Gardaí need to be visible in our communities. I will be holding Commissioner Harris to his commitment.”