REPORTS of the possibility of community policing services being withdrawn has sparked concern in Limerick.
Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea raised these concerns with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil.
“Regardless of the outcome of the current negotiations on the Garda rosters, I hope this does not come to pass,” Deputy O’Dea declared.
If it does, he warned, it will not happen at a worse time.
“We are plagued with anti-social behaviour. I know several vulnerable and elderly people who are literally prisoners in their own homes, particularly by night and sometimes by day as well.
”I raise this matter in the context of the recent increase in investment in policing in Dublin City by the Government. Other urban areas outside Dublin equally need investment. We also have problems and I want to know what the Government is going to do about them. Contrary to what some people might like to believe, Dublin is not Ireland,” the Limerick politician added.
In response, An Taoiseach told Deputy O’Dea that he and the Minister for Justice are very aware that communities all over the country, in urban and rural areas, and in Dublin, Limerick, and elsewhere, are affected by crime and need a decent police service.
“The Garda Commissioner has confirmed to the Minister for Justice that there are no plans to move any Garda members formerly appointed to specialist units as part of the reintroduction of the previously agreed Westmanstown roster. Specifically, neither community policing nor divisional drug units will be disbanded. An Garda Síochána remains committed to community policing and drugs enforcement. Any temporary changes to unit allocations will be reconsidered and addressed through the ongoing recruitment process,” he concluded.