Garda Commissioner: Station closures will affect areas but communities can help reduce crime
THE GARDA COMMISSIONER Martin Callinan has said today that the closure of Garda stations will affect communities – but that plans were in place to minimise the impact of such changes.
Speaking at a briefing on community policing today, Callinan said that rural communities would be impacted by the absence of stations, RTÉreports.
However, announcing An Garda Síochána’s Supporting Safer Communities Campaign, Callinan said the initiative would help in preventing crime, improving road safety and creating awareness of the services available to the victims of crime. He said the scheme would “remind the public of the small and simple crime prevention steps they can take to help us to reduce crime for everyone.”
“I am deeply conscious that our communities are sometimes as likely to be impacted by fear of crime as they are by a direct experience of crime,” he said. “Reducing that fear is of fundamental importance to us in An Garda Síochána and that is why we place a significant emphasis on working with communities and community groups so that our combined efforts can find better solutions to local problems and identify how we can best meet community needs.”
Callinan said that crime figures for the last five years, published by the Central Statistics Office, showed that there had been a decrease in a range of serious crimes – but that an increase in burglaries had also been noted. He said the Gardaí had “analysed and set about responding to this challenge some time ago,” under a strategy known as Operation Fiacla.
Callinan added that the Safer Communities Campaign offered an opportunity for all sections of the community to actively engage and work together, improve public safety, and provide effective crime prevention and road safety advice.