Commenting on the ongoing crime crisis RENUA Ireland Deputy leader Billy Timmins today warned that rural crime must not be allowed become a forgotten crisis.
Timmins said, ”The last decade of austerity has hollowed out rural policing in terms of real on the ground resources.
The return of some degree of economic normality means it is time to rebuild our rural police force.
This however should not merely be confined to restoring things to how they were.
The collapse in policing resources has created a vacuum which has been filled by skilled, mobile criminal gangs.
We must respond to this dangerous new reality.
Rural divisions of police have much smaller numbers of Gardaí assigned to dedicated community policing units. This has to change.
There must be much more community policing in rural areas to counter the loss of Garda stations across the country.
RENUA Ireland supports the introduction of rural engagement officers like those established in New Zealand.
Such officers prioritise locations across the country where citizens are more likely to be the victim of crime, with a focus on families, youth, alcohol, road policing, organised crime and drugs.
RENUA Ireland commits to a nationwide survey taking place that independently assesses the locations around Ireland where rural crime.
We believe it is better to match resources to problems through greater community policing and the use of enhanced technology.
We need a coherent plan.
RENUA Ireland has one.”