Lack of 24-hour garda stations in counties targeted by ATM robberies concerning - AGS

The lack of 24-hour garda stations in counties targeted by ATM robberies is concerning to senior officers.

Lack of 24-hour garda stations in counties targeted by ATM robberies concerning - AGS

The lack of 24-hour garda stations in counties targeted by ATM robberies is concerning to senior officers.

There are no 24-hour garda stations operating north of various towns in counties Cavan, Leitrim, Louth and Monaghan, Cavan and Louth, according to the Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS).

The AGS has said a lack of opened garda stations or availability of gardaí has impacted on the force’s ability to respond to major incidents.

The Garda Superintendents annual conference takes place in Naas, Co Kildare today where the issue will be discussed.

Among some of their concerns which are to be discussed are lack of gardaí and armed support units, an increase in vexatious complaints and the Divisional Policing model.

The AGS is calling for more armed response units and faster response times and say there should be sufficient armed support units to allow a response time of between 15 and 30 minutes.

Association president Noel Cunningham warned last night that the force was playing catch-up and losing the battle against crime if they had to resort to “throwing” personnel at problems after they had spiralled in an area.

Senior garda officers are backing a call for the setting up of more armed support units to combat the rise in organised crime and dissident activity, particularly in areas where policing resources have been badly depleted.

They want a say in determining where the extra sources should be deployed and are seeking a consultative role in advising the garda commissioner on where the biggest problems are and what is needed to be tackled.

The depth of feeling among the higher ranks at the shortage of manpower will be laid bare today at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents in Naas.

Association president Noel Cunningham is warning that the force was playing catch-up and losing the battle against crime if they had to resort to “throwing” personnel at problems after they had spiralled in an area.

Mr Cunningham pointed out that at last year’s conference they had highlighted the dangers posed by crime corridors, particularly in the Border counties that had been hit by a reduction in manpower as a result of the peace process and the closure of police stations.

Those corridors were now being used by the gangs behind the recent spate of ATM robberies and said it was clear that those gangs were targeting areas where they believed garda resources were relatively thin on the ground.

Mr Cunningham said that a few years ago the country was talking about the wave of burglaries and thefts being carried out by highly mobile gangs, using the network of motorways.

He is calling for more armed support units, to be deployed wherever garda management deemed necessary, but not necessarily in every garda division, which was suggested last week by the rank and file Garda Representative Association.

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