WITH over 1,000 applications received and over 30,000 expressions of interest made for the new positions available with An Garda Siochana, the move to lift the moratorium on recruitment has been broadly welcomed, but a full audit is needed to establish the garda districts and units that are in most need of a boost.
That is according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins who has welcomed the commencement of garda recruitment at a time when numbers in the force are slipping to a dangerously low level.
Deputy Collins is now calling on the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to ask the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to carry out an audit of the areas and units within An Garda Síochána that need extra resources.
Commissioner Callinan has said that he does not want the numbers in the force slip below 13,000. The new positions and period of recruitment he said will go to alleviating fears of a reduction in the force where an efficient level of policing could not be maintained.
Deputy Collins said “This is a long overdue step. It comes at a time when the force has been subjected to sustained cuts and desperately needs more resources and more manpower,” he added.
“What we need now is a full audit of garda units and garda districts to see which areas most need additional manpower.
“Over the last two years, we have seen communities lose their garda stations and garda vehicles; we have seen garda districts lose some specialised units; and we have seen major gaps appearing in vital units within in the force.
“It is crucial that the areas that most need a boost in garda presence receive that boost as a result of this new round of garda recruitment,” he said.