The announcement from the Government and the Minister for Justice that they are to install CCTV on motorways to monitor gangs who are carrying out rural crime might seem like a good idea but I have a number of questions. Who will review the footage? Will it be the same Garda force who do not have enough resources to carry out patrols in rural areas as it is? It just does not make sense unless there are more Gardaí on the ground in rural areas. I listened to a GRA representative on the airwaves today say that while the current recruitment drive in the Gardaí is welcome, 300 new Gardaí a year must be balanced against the fact that in the region of 250 Gardaí retire every year too. That is a net gain of 50 Gardaí per year. The coalition Government say that they want to get Garda numbers back up to 14,000. If they keep adding just 50 new Gardaí then it will take 50 years to get the numbers back up to 14,000. Are they really serious about tackling the crime issue? We have to get real on the issue of rural crime and provide the resources so that the Gardaí can do their job properly and protect rural communities.
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