Pa Daly TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Justice, has commented on reported moves by the Minister for Justice to deploy the armed response and public order units in Dublin City Centre.
Teachta Daly said:
“We have been very clear for a number of months now that urgent action needs to be taken in respect of public safety in Dublin City Centre. The confidence of workers, families, businesses and communities in the area, as well as visitors from the island and overseas, was being eroded.
“An increased Garda presence in the city centre is no doubt required, but the extra resources must address these concerns and build confidence.
“I would sound a note of caution in relation to some aspects of the proposed changes. It is crucial that we get this important issue right. We need more details about the deployment of public order and armed response units. This must be a short term response. Policing requires the faith and co-operation of the communities being policed. We also need to see a medium and long-term response that addresses the core issues that Fine Gael have neglected for so long.
“In addition, whilst extra Garda overtime is proposed, along with the reallocation of some staff, this does not solve the fundamental issue that there are not enough active numbers to cover what is required. This risks stretching Gardaí even thinner and compromising policing elsewhere as well.
“Short-term, government must publish the regulations for the Garda Reserve so that An Garda Síochána can recruit more part-time members, and redeploy full time members. Also, as recommended by the Commission on the Future of Policing, Gardai must be freed from non core activities.
“It’s time for Fine Gael to end their failed approach to policing issues in Dublin, so that all communities can feel safe.”