THE recent CSO figures showing an increase in crime were “from 2006 to 2010 and not under our government”, according to Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence.
The Minister was speaking at Monday’s launch of the three year strategic plan for the Irish Prison Service in Portlaoise.
“The figures for 2011 show that crime is down but that there are increased burglaries. Gardaí are targetting criminal gangs and areas of growth are being targetted by the Garda Comissioner”, he said.
When asked whether Gardaí will be able to cope in light of three districts in Laois/Offaly being without a chief superintendent, the Minister said that there are 13,600 members of the Gardaí.
“There is now a difficulty with improved road networks of travelling gangs. Gardaí have been vigourously targetting gangs and there have been a number of successful arrests”.
Regarding the position of a chief superintendent for Laois Offaly, the Minister said that a number of promotions were made recently and to look out for further promotions.
On the closure of rural Garda stations, Minister Shatter said that more information would be available in the Garda Commissioner’s report which is due out in mid November.