Cuts have led to 'token community policing' in Laois and resulted in anti-social behaviour, Sinn Féin TD, Brian Stanley has claimed.
Dep Stanley expressed his shock at the decrease in the numbers of Community Gardaí in recent years.
“The number of Community Gardaí in the force has fallen nationally from 1,112 in 2010 to only 691 in 2017, a 38% decrease.
"The lack of Community Policing is having a big impact on crime and serious anti-social behaviour. In Laois the number of Community Gardaí has dropped from 19 in 2011 to just 2 last year.
"The difference a good community Garda can make to an area, and to individuals and families, is huge. Community Gardaí build up relationships and trust with people at risk of offending, particularly young people, and direct them in a more positive direction, such as through the Garda Youth Diversion Projects," he said.
The TD said that failing to make these kinds of investments is undoing the good work that was built up over many years, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
He said the National Model of Community Policing was launched in 2009 to great fanfare and was rightly welcomed but it has been "ignored" by Government.
"Providing just 2 Community Gardaí in Laois is just tokenism and lip service by the Government,” he said.
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