Members of Stradbally Neighbourhood Watch have criticised the Gardai and their “low or non attendance” at their meetings since the introduction of new rotas.
According to Carmel Delaney and Dominic Hartnett from the neighbourhood watch, this “has left groups with the feeling that they are now on their own and what matters most is that you control your cost and maximise the staffing levels and resources in Portlaoise town”.
They asked the chief superintendent to make sure that the local Garda attend at least one local meeting of the neighbourhood watch, or community alerts.
In response, Chief Supt Scanlan said that since stations have been closed, he assigned a dedicated, named guard to the areas, adding that it would not be appropriate to discuss the level of intelligence.
“I met with these communities at open public meetings, I don’t remember anyone in this room persent at these meetings. Yes I have less numbers but it would be remiss of anybody to be putting out that people are losing confidence in the Gardai. I would never refuse extra Gardai”.