With regard to the ongoing controversy of rural crime, I welcome what the Minister for Justice has said with regard to the tightening up of bail laws to ensure that repeat offenders are not going to find it as easy to roam the countryside committing crimes. Extra high powered cars on the roads is not going to solve this problem as I have said before. It’s all about boots on the ground. We will also have to put more resources into things like community alerts etc. A lot of these criminals are getting their information locally and we have to return to local policing. It was a mistake to close local rural Garda stations but that is done now and I would be saying that no more rural Garda stations should be closed. We need to ensure that Gardaí are out on the beat in rural areas also and not in stations doing paperwork that could be done by civilians. This whole area needs to be reviewed.
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