While the 94 recruits that have passed out from the Garda Training College in Templemore this week is welcome, it is only a drop in the ocean with regard to what is needed in the force in rural areas. I also note that none of the Gardaí that were assigned stations this week have been sent to this region which is very disappointing. The upsurge in rural crime has coincided with the closure of many rural Garda stations. The lack of a locally based rural Garda was always a big comfort to local communities but in most cases that is gone and policing from the larger urban areas means that it takes Gardaí far longer to get to the scene if there is suspicious activity reported. The criminals know that they have very little chance of being caught in remote rural areas. The Government and the Minister must take this problem seriously once and for all. More resources are needed immediately. People have to feel safe living in their own homes. We cannot have rural communities living in fear while thugs and criminals have a free run.
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