Green Party criticises plans to purchase fleet of high-performance vehicles for Gardai
The Green Party has today slammed proposals from Government to buy a fleet of high-performance cars for the Gardai as a response to rural crime. The Party claims that the 250 million spend on the project to challenge gangs robbing people in rural communities would be better deployed towards reinstating the presence of Gardai and Garda Stations in rural areas.
‘The closure of 139 Garda stations has yielded a net saving of 556,000 to the exchequer; that’s equates to about 4,000 per station. Weigh this against a proposed spend of 205 million for new technology and 46 million for a new fleet of high-performance cars and we can see where Government priorities lie’ said Green Party Environment Spokesperson Cllr Malcolm Noonan.
Cllr Noonan claims that the rise in aggravated and non-aggravated burglaries in rural Ireland correlates with the closure of rural Garda stations. ‘Nothing can reassure older people in rural areas like the light on in a local Garda Station and the presence of local Gardai in their communities.
Minister Frances Fitzgerald is on record as saying that the objective of closing the stations was to ‘promote a more efficient and effective deployment of resources’ and to ensure that there would be a continued Garda presence in communities. How exactly will this latest proposal act as a deterrent to criminal gangs?’ he said.
‘Basically the Minister wants the Gardai to engage in a game of cops and robbers on the very small Motorway network in the State; endangering the public and the Gardai themselves. This is not Los Angeles. It makes no sense whatsoever and will not deter these gangs as Minister Brendan Howlin claims, as the punishment for being caught is simply not enough’ he said.
The Green Party is calling for the proposal to be scrapped and for investment to go back towards reopening rural Garda stations and ensuring that Gardai in rural areas are resourced to support the communities that they serve.