No ve­hi­cles for com­mu­nity polic­ing unit

The Argus - - NEWS -

COM­PLAINTS that the lack of ded­i­cated cars or vans is ham­per­ing the work of com­mu­nity polic­ing units in Dun­dalk and Drogheda, was voiced at the Joint Polic­ing Com­mit­tee meet­ing last week.

John Tem­ple, com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tive, com­plained that the com­mu­nity polic­ing unit in Dun­dalk com­prised of two gar­dai and a sergeant who haven’t had ac­cess to a ve­hi­cle for the past 18 months. At one stage there were six mem­bers in the unit.

He pointed out that com­mu­nity alert groups in Dun­dalk would like to have gar­dai at their AGMs. He also noted that the col­lege year had started re­cently but with­out trans­port, gar­dai couldn’t visit all the ar­eas where stu­dents live.

The rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Faugh­art Com­mu­nity Alert scheme also com­plained that a promised meet­ing with gar­dai hadn’t taken place.

Supt Christy Man­gan ac­knowl­edged that trans­port was a ma­jor is­sue and that the com­mu­nity polic­ing units were operating with­out any ve­hi­cles of their own.

He said that while the Divi­sion had been al­lo­cated a new car the pre­vi­ous day, it had to be used to re­place an­other car in Drogheda which had reached the end of its life.

‘Cars are driven to the limit at high speed and in atro­cious weather,’ he said, re­veal­ing that they had also had a num­ber of cars rammed and writ­ten off.

Once ve­hi­cle had clocked up 300,000kms, they had to be taken off the road, even if they weren’t be­ing re­placed.

Con­ced­ing that the lack of ve­hi­cles was ‘a prob­lem’, he said he would like to have com­mu­nity ve­hi­cles in both towns and said he is in con­stant con­tact with the De­part­ment re­gard­ing this.

Supt Gerry Cur­ley stressed that he didn’t re­duce the com­mu­nity polic­ing unit in Dun­dalk and that his plan was to in­crease it by one or two mem­bers be­fore the end of the year.

He added that the mem­bers of com­mu­nity unit in Dun­dalk are cy­clists, and while bi­cy­cles were not a re­place­ment for cars, there were cir­cum­stances where they could be more use­ful such as pa­trolling ar­eas with laneways and al­ley­ways. It was also use­ful for gar­dai to be out and about on the streets.

He would try to ar­range for a meet­ing with the com­mu­nity alert schemes be­fore the end of the year,

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