Garda figures in Donegal have dropped by almost 20 per cent over the last seven years, according to Deputy Charlie McConalogue.
600 recruits are set to graduate later this year and the Fianna Fáil Deputy has called on the Minister for Justice, Deputy Charlie Flanagan, to ensure that Donegal receives an increased allocation of new gardaí when the new tranche of trainee graduates.
The Fianna Fáil deputy said: “The former Minister has confirmed to me that just 17 new gardaí have been allocated to Donegal since training resumed in 2014. That is an abysmal number considering the fact that just under 1,000 new gardaí have graduated from Templemore in that time period. This meagre allocation coincides with closure of local garda stations, cuts to personnel and a reduction of services across the county. It comes as no surprise that as a result of these harsh cuts that we have seen a significant increase in burglaries."
He added that the strength of the force locally currently stands at 379, a marked drop from the 475 officers stationed in the county in 2010.
He said: “We have reached a stage now where people, particularly older members of our communities, no longer feel safe in their homes. Many are afraid to go about their daily lives because they fear being out on their own. We need to see more gardaí on the streets and in our towns and villages. Visibility plays a huge part in deterring crime and easing the fears of local people.”