Offaly Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has said that there are now 19 extra Gardaí on the beat in Laois/Offaly.
“Since 2015, our local Garda numbers have increased to 299, showing the Government is committed to restoring the force and keeping Laois/Offaly safe. I am delighted to announce that our local communities are to become even safer thanks to an increased Garda presence in Laois/Offaly," she said.
In early July, we reported that of the 198 graduating at the latest ceremony in Templemore, 10 new gardaí were set to be stationed in Laois/Offaly, all of whom were stationed in Laois.
“I have been working consistently to outline the need for more Gardaí on our streets and I am delighted that this has resulted in an increased allocation," Marcella added.
“Fine Gael reopened Templemore training college and we have accelerated and prioritised the recruitment of Gardaí - we plan on increasing the Garda personnel to 21,000 by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Garda Reserve members and 4,000 civilians."
“Figures show we are well on our way to achieving this target, with the current strength of the Garda force standing at over 13,000," she said.
“Two out of three divisions saw their Garda numbers increase between 2015 and 2016, and this was not restricted to urban areas," she added.
“In 2017 alone funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians.
“Since Fine Gael took office, more has been done to reform An Garda Síochána than in the many decades before, where problems were allowed to mount without being addressed," Corcoran Kennedy claimed.
The most significant change the Government has made is the introduction of the independent Policing Authority.
“We now have a much stronger Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, and also whistleblowers' legislation to protect those who come forward with concerns. The Government’s Capital Plan 2016- 2021 includes €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT and €46 million for new Garda vehicles," Marcella concluded.
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