Number of community gardaí down by 50% in some areas, report finds

Number of community gardaí down by 50% in some areas, report finds

A new report has found the number of community gardaí has reduced by 50% in some areas, while others have none at all.

The Garda Inspectorate study says a lack of planning means it is unclear how many gardai are needed to police Ireland.

This report, which looks at policing of local communities, found that an insufficient understanding of demand for policing services and the absence of an intelligence-led strategic planning process means it is unclear what the optimum number and mix of members and reserves should be to police.

It also finds the force is well behind other services in how it uses technology and there are often insufficient gardaí on duty at the right times and communities have noticed a decrease in visibility.

In many divisions, the report finds the number of community policing members has reduced by up to 50%, with large reductions in rural areas.

Some districts have no dedicated community policing members in place.

It also says gardaí are often taken away from their core role for prisoner escorts and other non-core functions, which greatly impacts on the availability of resources.

Often the persons most affected by this are victims of crimes.

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