Gardaí defend 20-minute response time
GARDAI have defended a twenty minute response time to a vicious and serious armed raid at a Tinahely supermarket saying that a 24-hour service is available countywide and managed at the District Garda headquarters in Baltinglass.
Store owner at Centra in Tinahely David Whelan slammed the system which sees outer Garda Stations closed in the evenings and control switched to a main station almost 25km away.
‘I realise that the Gardaí are probably as frustrated as I am and that they are very under-resourced and doing the best they can but the fact is changes must be made. The Minister for Justice must look at this situation which is allowing criminals to target stores and terrorise staff without fear of being caught.,’ he said.
A spokesperson at the Garda Press Office denied that this system makes rural businesses a target for hardened and violent criminals saying that while it is not possible to have every station manned on a twenty-four hour basis an emergency response unit is on hand to deal with such occurances.
‘It is not possible to have a Garda on every street corner. Unortunately it depends on the location of the crime as to how long it will take to respond. Very often this would not even make a difference. Gardaí could be around the corner from a crime and the raiders could be gone within seconds.’
The spokesperson would not confirm whether or not this raid and one which took place on August 22 were connected but said that CCTV was currently under examination and that they are confident that progress will be made.