Offaly TD Carol Nolan has today tackled Justice Minister Charles Flanagan on the status of Garda numbers and visibility in the Laois-Offaly Garda Division.
Nolan asked the Minister to account for the reported extra Gardai recuited onto the streets in the counties. Her questioning comes in the wake of a 6% increase in burglaries and a sexual assault in Edenderry less than two weeks ago.
Carol said that "the Minister claims he is on target to have 21,000 Gardai on the street by 2020."
"Despite the lack of visibility of these unquantified reinforcements, I echo the Minister's compliment of the Laois-Offaly Crime Prevention Taskforce and commend the community's support for this initiative," Carol added.
"However crime prevention and crime apprehension are two entirely exclusive functions. Minister Flanagan needs to live up to the committment in the Programme for Government which states that 'this Government are committed to building a strong, visible and familiar Garda presence in communities."
"Despite the Minister's rhetoric about re-inforcements at a recently at a sitting of Tullamore Circuit Court, Judge Keenan Johnson emphasised the need for more Gardaí on the beat to deal with the violence associated with drink and drugs," Carol concluded.
You can watch the Dáil exchange involving Carol Nolan at the top of this article.
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