The impending withdrawal of voluntary overtime by gardaí next month underscores the fragility and inadequacy of the Minister for Justice’s policing plan for Dublin city centre, according to Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon.
Deputy Gannon, who represents Dublin Central, said:
“Following media reports of a spate of vicious assaults in Dublin during the summer, Minister McEntee announced a €10 million policing plan for the city. However, this turned out to be just a sticking plaster solution that involves a complete reliance on garda overtime and is only funded up to the end of the year.
“Industrial relations within the force are at an all-time low thanks to senior garda management’s insistence on reintroducing an unworkable roster in November – one that will result in a 20 per cent reduction in policing resources. As a result, frontline gardaí have voted not to sign up for voluntary overtime on a number of key dates next month, including Budget Day and Halloween, with a further withdrawal of services planned for November.
“This action will particularly impact urban areas, including Dublin city centre, where overtime is essential in plugging significant manpower gaps. Proper policing resources are also required to meet the growing threat posed by far-right groups around the country.
“The escalating roster dispute shows that Dublin needs much more than a temporary plan that is dependent on overtime. Business owners and residents are sick and tired of hearing announcements of special operations to deal with anti-social behaviour and criminality in the city centre.
“What Dublin requires is a permanently resourced garda presence, but the current policing solution for the city is nothing more than a house built on sand. We deserve to know what the Minister’s long-term plan is.”
September 28, 2023