Garda cri­sis in New Ross as staffing lev­els reach ‘crazy’ sit­u­a­tion

New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

THE GARDA force in New Ross is in cri­sis, with only two gar­daí avail­able to be on the beat across the en­tire district on week­end days.

The Garda Rep­re­sen­ta­tive As­so­ci­a­tion (GRA) is call­ing for emer­gency mea­sures to be put in place to en­sure garda num­bers in the New Ross district are in­creased over the coming months.

The district has lost eight se­nior gar­daí over re­cent years, two sergeants and six guards, with none be­ing re­placed.

Also the cur­rent roster sys­tem means less gar­daí are on duty at any given time.

Wex­ford GRA spokesper­son Derek Cam­pion de­scribed the garda staffing sit­u­a­tion in the New Ross district as ‘crazi­ness’. Garda Cam­pion said: ‘We have been call­ing for in­creased num­bers for a long time. The en­tire district of New Ross on Satur­day’s in the re­cent past has been op­er­ated by two gar­daí; one in the sta­tion and one in the car. That is not good for the town or the coun­try. The district stretches from Bal­ly­william to Dun­can­non and the Hook to Welling­ton­bridge and you’ve two guards! It’s crazi­ness that this is the level we are work­ing with. You are blue in the face try­ing to talk to garda man­age­ment. You just can’t op­er­ate it.’

The Wex­ford Garda di­vi­sion was re­cently high­lighted as the third worst na­tion­ally out­side of Kil­dare and Meath for garda per­son­nel per head of pop­u­la­tion.

Garda Cam­pion said morale amongst gar­daí in New Ross is very low, with trans­fers be­ing blocked and mem­bers not be­ing able to progress or change their ca­reer paths. An­other is­sue is the con­di­tion of garda sta­tions. ‘Even the rats won’t stay in some sta­tions,’ said Garda Cam­pion, who is based in Campile Garda Sta­tion.

‘Progress is in­cred­i­bly slow. We are grad­u­ally start­ing to see an in­crease with the re­cruit­ment drive at the minute. We have been told that five new pro­ba­tion­ers are coming to New Ross at the end of Septem­ber, start of Oc­to­ber. We have been call­ing for all sta­tions in the Wex­ford di­vi­sion to have re­cruits. Un­for­tu­nately, as of yet, New Ross hasn’t re­ceived any pro­ba­tion­ers.’

He said: ‘New Ross is a 24 hour sta­tion. On a Satur­day, the way the shifts op­er­ate, be­tween 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. you wouldn’t have any other gar­daí coming in un­less there is a ma­jor in­ci­dent and even then there is no guar­an­tee as four gar­daí have to be on duty in Wex­ford and Enniscorthy garda num­bers have to be main­tained there. Peo­ple who call sta­tions here are be­ing told they have to wait and hour and a half for a garda car to ar­rive. We don’t know why garda man­age­ment isn’t scream­ing about this. They say there are greater de­tec­tion rates but our num­bers are down and morale is low.’

A se­nior garda in New Ross said: ‘We are down on our num­bers but we are also spread over five shifts and not four. We are down in the num­ber of peo­ple in coun­try sta­tions also. Be­cause we have to keep a 24 hour sta­tion go­ing, mainly with four or five in a unit and be­cause coun­try sta­tions are re­duced it af­fects the whole district. If the gar­daí were there it would have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the district.’

The garda said mem­bers are un­der se­vere pres­sure and are an­noyed with the lack of ac­tion by garda man­age­ment in re­solv­ing the is­sue.

‘ This has been go­ing on for four year and it’s get­ting worse year af­ter year as guards aren’t be­ing re­placed. You can’t have the ser­vice at the same lev­els when you have things the way they are.’

Su­per­in­ten­dent John McDon­ald said: ‘No dif­fer­ent than in any other sta­tion in the coun­try New Ross could do with more re­sources. Four to five years ago there would have been a good few more guards in New Ross. From the point of view of pro­vid­ing ac­tive pa­trols on beats and from a vis­i­ble pres­ence view­point, it (more gar­daí) could and would give us ad­di­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.