Politicians accused of currying votes

By Maurice Garvey

SENIOR gardaí have blasted politicians for hosting their own crime meetings and for attempting to “politicise” gardaí by inviting them to these forums.

Gardaí fear residents are now contacting politicians to report crimes, instead of first contacting the local garda station.

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With a general election looming in the coming months, gardaí feel public representatives are trying to curry votes through the hosting of public forums.

Speaking at the North Clondalkin, Lucan and Palmerstown local policing forum in the Clarion Hotel last week, Superintendent Dermot Mann, said the issue was of particular concern to gardaí.

Supt Mann said: “Lots of politicians are writing to us, wanting us to go to a meeting they have arranged. I will not be politicised. We are happy to go to neighbourhood watch meetings.

“One thing I can’t get over is the number of people bringing problems to politicians. At least give us the opportunity to solve the crime. How can we put in resources if we don’t know where the problems are.”

Public crime forums hosted by politicians has become a popular trait across constituencies in recent years – often under banners of reduced garda resources and rising criminal activity.

The approximate combined policing area for Lucan and Palmerstown stations is 60,000 with a garda staff of 200.



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