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Calleary calls for no more garda cutbacks


 Calleary calls for no more garda cutbacks

Áine Ryan

MAYO’S Fianna Fáil Deputy Dara Calleary has called on the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter to ensure there are no more garda station closures in County Mayo. He says  a disproportionate amount of closures in the west in recent years has already put communities in the west at a greater risk from crime.
Mr Calleary made his views known in a recent submission for the formulation of next year’s policing plan for the western region. He told The Mayo News yesterday that he had also highlighted the need to address ‘the problem of anti-social behaviour in towns’.
 “Mayo has already lost six community garda stations this year and Swinford Garda Station lost its district headquarters status.  This county has been plagued by a wave of burglaries, thefts and petty crime over the past two years and many people are left feeling vulnerable as a result.  The very last thing we need is more cuts to our community garda resources,” Mr Calleary said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that more garda cuts will hamper the fight against crime.  More cuts will hinder the ability of our local gardaí to do their job as effectively and safely as possible.  There are already major gaps in our garda force in County Mayo and the local gardaí do not have the support and resources they need.  Any further attempt to undermine the force and undermine the link between the gardaí and rural communities is another dangerous step in the wrong direction,” he continued.
“The west of Ireland has suffered the most severe garda cuts over the past year. I have questioned Minister Shatter on a number of occasions about this and I have appealed to him to recognise the particular policing challenges in large rural areas. But he has consistently failed to recognise the crisis in the garda force and the dangerous gaps in policing in the western region.  
“I am now appealing to the Minister to stop before he further dismantles the garda force and puts our communities at greater risk.  Mayo cannot take more frontline garda cuts,” he added.

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