During a debate in the Dail on the Criminal Justice Bill (Burglary of Dwellings) 2015 I proposed that a new type of Garda which could be called ‘a local Garda’ be trained in the training college in Templemore. These Gardai would liase with the local community and would be eyes and ears of locals in terms of intelligence. The closure of local Garda stations has meant that local Gardai who knew everything that was going on in any community are now a thing of the past and this would reverse that trend. These Gardai would not be in stations doing paperwork but out in the community with their ears to the ground. Retired Gardai, who did this valuable work in the past could be a great help to train these new ‘local Gardai’ into the future. There are many strands in the quest to solve the problem of rural crime but this is one that the Minister and the Government should consider.
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