Michael Healy Rae: Rural areas need more community based Gardaí

Michael Healy Rae: Rural areas need more community based Gardaí

There are calls for more community based Gardaí in rural areas.

It comes as a new opinion poll shows that more than a fifth of farm families say they or a member of their immediate family has been the victim of crime in the last 12 months.

The

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Irish Examiner/ICMSA poll also shows that almost 60% of respondents do not believe there is an adequate garda presence in rural Ireland.

Independent Kerry TD, Michael Healy Rae, says community-based gardaí need to be put back into rural communities.

Michael Healy Rae told Newstalk's Down to Business: "I would earnestly ask (the Government) to look at garda stations that were closed and serious consider re-opening them.

"Because one thing that we cherish in rural areas is the whole idea of a community-based garda.

"In other words, a person who is not just a guard - but he is part of our community."

The is just a month after a new campaign was launched to try combat the problem of farm-related crime and thefts.

The initiative is aiming to raise awareness among the public, and in particular those in the farming community, of the issue.

It was jointly organised by Crimestoppers, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), An Garda Síochána and DoneDeal.

Since 2010, over 28,642 farm-related crime incidents have been reported to gardaí.

The most common incidents are thefts from farm yards, with over 2,000 being reported every year since 2010.

Mr Healy Rae says the local guard needs to be central to rural communities - who need to look out for each other.


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