A Fine Gael TD is calling for the recruitment of 800 new Gardaí and 400 new civilian staff to result in a dramatic increase in on the beat policing.
Deputy Neale Richmond has said that Operation Citizen has resulted in a drop in crime in Dublin and this practice of high visibility policing must be rolled out nationwide.
Deputy Richmond said, “After repeated calls for high visibility policing in Dublin, Operation Citizen commenced in October 2021, with over 100 Gardaí patrolling Dublin City Centre each weekend evening.
“Since the commencement of Operation Citizen, criminal activity in Dublin has significantly decreased.
“Thefts from persons are down 48%, thefts from cars are down 25% and public order offences have reduced by 11%, all compared to the previous year.
“Clearly, high visibility policing is working and in order to continue this into 2022, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has confirmed an additional 800 frontline Gardaí will be recruited this year, as well as 400 Garda staff. The Garda Mountain Bike Unit will also be expanded by 20%.
“These additional recruitments will keep us on track to meet the target of 15,000 members of the Gardaí, and 4,000 Garda staff.
“The recruitment of additional Garda staff is crucial so that frontline Gardaí are not burdened with administrative work and can focus on their frontline duties. It is imperative that this recruitment drive results in more police working on the beat.
“With funding of €2.062 billion for 2022, An Garda Síochána have ample resources to continue Operation Citizen into 2022.
“Gardaí have done stellar working in keeping our streets safe; we are all better off thanks to their dedication.
“When taken in conjunction with the rise in community intervention projects through the Community Safety Innovation Fund, we will be able to both prevent young people from turning to crime and prevent these crimes happening in the moment.
“With the additional recruitment of these Gardaí, the expansion of Operation Citizen must be prioritised into 2022”, Deputy Richmond concluded.