Sinn Féin’s Justice spokesperson Martin Kenny TD said that he has heard from Gardaí that neither civilian staff or the appropriate IT solutions have been put in place to resource the reorganisation of the Garda Siochána.
Speaking during questions to the Minister for Justice and Equality this morning, Deputy Kenny said
“The level of new equipment that is supposed to be rolled out with this new plan is central to the new plan working.
“There is no point in rearranging how management operates unless we ensure the resources are in place to make the arrangements efficient and effective.
“The impression I am getting, which is a reflection of the reality of what is happening in the real experience of members of An Garda Síochána and community police, is that they do not have access to the level of equipment and structures they need to be in place to deliver this the way they want to deliver it.
“In fairness, for a long time the case has been made that there needs to be change and I welcome this change. Nobody here is saying we are opposed to it but we must understand that the change must be adequately resourced.
“For instance, if we go through the streets of Dublin and meet security staff at a doorway they are wearing body cameras. Gardaí do not have these.
“Gardaí should be leading and on the cutting edge of new technology and not lagging behind.
“Last week, I spoke to somebody who told me four gardaí are at a particular Garda station that has one patrol car.
“When the car is out two of them sit in the station and if a call comes in or they are needed they have no patrol car to go anywhere.
“This is the reality in many places in rural Ireland, in particular in my very rural constituency where people are very concerned that the level of resources required is not being put in place.”