FIANNA Fáil TD for Kildare North, Frank O’Rourke has condemned the scarcity of gardaí in Co Kildare and said there is a huge discrepancy in the number of gardaí per head of population around the country.
Deputy O’Rourke was commenting as information received by Fianna Fáil that shows that there is one garda for every 562 people in the entire Kildare division. By comparison there is one guard for every 348 people in the Louth division.
“It must be acknowledged that the figures are going in the right direction, but this is only through continuous engagement with the Minister for Justice and garda management.
“Since being elected I have met them and I have written to them on numerous occasions to press for extra gardaí in North Kildare. He said progress was being made and additional gardai are being allocated .
“However, overall it is clear that Kildare is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to Garda resources.
“Recent figures revealed to Fianna Fáil also show that the total number of Garda vehicles in the entire Kildare Garda division in 2019 is 55 – a decline from 2018 and 2017 respectively.
“Our increasing population is not being met with an increased level of garda resources. I would like the Minister for Justice to explain to me why a county with a population of 128,884 (Louth) has 61% more gardaí per head of population than a county of 222,504 (Kildare) – it doesn’t make sense.
“I understand that different counties have very unique policing needs but surely it should go without saying that a commuter county, with such a huge population needs a very robust and mobile police force,” he concluded.