Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly TD, has expressed concern at reports of emergency calls to the Dublin dispatch centre going without a response.
According to The Journal, as many as 500 calls were awaiting a response on one day last week.
Teachta Daly said:
“Dispatch centres are supposed to ensure a rapid response to crime incidents.
“The centres handle calls sourced through Garda stations, as part of a move away from stations responding directly to calls from the public, and because they only ring 999 when they feel they have no other choice.
“Dispatchers are trained in assigning a priority to calls. Calls that need a response at the end of a shift are carried over and it is here that a large volume of calls, over 500, were awaiting a response.
“This has been an issue in other areas, which I have raised before. Senior Gardai have talked of ‘teething problems’ but there is widespread frustration in the public, within the Gardai and with call handlers themselves.
“There is a simple issue here, namely that there are not enough Gardaí or staff to respond.
“Sinn Féin has been clear for a number of years that the government has fallen badly behind in keeping numbers sufficient to meet the needs of the public.
“The gaps in personnel within some districts and units are now obvious, and there is only so much proper procedure can do to cover where there are shortcomings.
“We are in danger of a negative cycle, with conditions becoming more and more demanding and unfair, further impacting on retention.
“The government does not seem to be taking this seriously, and I am holding a series of engagements over the coming weeks to discuss how our proposals can assist in turning the current tide.”