The start of Garda recruitment signals a firm commitment to policing and to our serving Gardái. I welcome this commitment by the Minister for Justice and Equality which will see new recruits entering Garda training for the first time since 2009.
It was unfortunate that in 2009 the then Government ended Garda recruitment. Since then economic circumstances have impeded this Government’s determination to again bring young recruits into the Garda Siochána. In conjunction with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Minister Shatter has now brought about a reversal of the 2009 decision. This will strengthen our police force and give much needed employment opportunities to our many well educated young people who, through no fault of their own, have been left without the chance to commence their careers.
Locally the latest crime and traffic statistics given by the Garda Siochana show that the number of incidents across all headline categories has decreased. Across the Cork City Division figures show that property crimes are down 4%, crimes against the person are down 5% and criminal damage and public order offences are down 18%. Although there has been a very welcome decrease in the reported figures it is vital that we continue to invest in and provide resources for the Gardai. The decision to commence recruitment will provide much needed additional resources so that the Gardai can continue their excellent work in tackling crime and community liaison.
I hope that every will be made to get this recruitment process underway as soon as possible.