Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny TD has today called on government to provide increased funding to An Garda Síochána for the resourcing of public order units and frontline Gardaí.
Speaking from Leinster House today, the Sligo Leitrim TD said:
“I wrote to the Garda Commissioner over the summer after the vicious attack on Irish Olympian Jack Wholly, which brought to light so many other instances of random attacks and anti-social behaviour across our urban centres.
“Just this week, I received a reply in which An Garda Síochána advised that they are currently carrying out ‘Operation Soteria’ to focus on these incidents.
“In the reply, they detailed to me that an increased number of frontline Gardaí, Juvenile Liaison Officers, and CRO’s have been deployed. They also detailed how one of the priorities of this campaign is to ensure an ‘immediate response to victims of assault’.
“This immediate response is just not happening from what the victims of these crimes have told me and my colleagues in Sinn Féin. The consequences of delayed responses or lack of response to these reports is that some victims won’t report because they feel Gardaí are unable to help them.
“Frontline Gardaí are not the ones at fault here, it is the lack of resources hindering them. The Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner need to sit down and prioritise a reconfiguration for Operation Soteria, because the victims of these assaults, when they do report them, are not being supported.
“The Assistant Commissioner appeared on national television yesterday evening highlighting the resources she has and that allocations are linked to the previous years crime reports. If that is the case, these incidents are going to continue, making urban centres across the island no-go areas.
“The delayed or non-response to these assaults seems to be directly linked to under resourcing, and the Minister must solve this issue once and for all.”