CHIEF Superintendent Gerard Roche of Limerick Garda Division has been asked to seek resources for a fit for Garda sub-station in the City East area as a matter of urgency.
The call was made at this month’s Joint Policing Committee meeting by Fianna Fáil councillor Jerry O’Dea, who said the areas of Castleconnell, Newtown, Annacotty, Castletroy, Monaleen and UL have been overwhelmed by a huge increase in crime over the past 12 months.
Referencing crime figures for 2018, he claimed burglaries in Castleconnell were up 80 per cent, in Murroe up 67 per cent and in Henry Street, which is responsible for the entire Limerick Division, by 17 per cent.
“By contrast, the separate areas of Roxboro and Mayorstone show a reported burglary rate of zero and one per cent respectively,” Cllr O’Dea commented.
“It’s clear from these statistics that despite the best efforts of an excellent superintendent at Henry Street, he is understaffed and undermanned.
“In recent weeks we saw highly publicised violent burglaries and assaults in Annacotty and Newtown, where on two occasions the burglars returned either later in the night or the following night to finish the job.
“It’s clear the criminals had little fear of being caught as Henry Street is so far from the area and so under-resourced.”
Cllr O’Dea went on to call on Chief Superintendent Roche to seek resources to provide a fit for purpose sub-station in the City East District.
“In the local area plan for Castletroy, the population is projected to increase by almost 100 per cent by 2040. Despite this, there is no mention of a Garda station.
“At present, the area is almost the size of a small city in itself and we cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand here. The people of the area deserve better,” he declared.
Chief Superintendent Roche reassured Cllr O’Dea that “no one was burying their heads in the sand” and that he was currently looking at this very issue.
He went on to describe the current Garda station in Castleconnell as “substandard”, explaining there were 18 different health and safety issues that need to be addressed and no budget to rent another building.
“The accommodation is not good enough and there is a suite of things that needs to happen. It is a challenge to keep Castleconnell open but we are doing our very best with the personnel we have,” he said.
Cllr O’Dea then suggested a local business owner was willing to provide premises in the district for a temporary Garda station if An Garda Síochána were open to it.
“We need to start thinking outside the box,” he added.