22 April 2006

Garda reserve a waste of time and money

Irish Examiner


PLANS for an unpaid, part-time garda reserve force seem ridiculous in a country where fear of criminals is now palpable.

For some reason the country is now breeding criminals who impose no limits on their activities. If lives have to be taken in a robbery, or if people have to be seriously injured, then that is what happens.

This cannot be allowed to continue.

But what do we get by way of protection?

The Government plans to recruit around 900 volunteers into the reserve by September to carry out policing duties in the presence of uniformed gardaí.

This proposal is an ill-conceived half measure that won’t work.

We are told the reserve will be a supporting force and not a replacement for gardaí.

Is this not a cheap, stop-gap way of covering up failures to provide serving gardaí with adequate communications and protective clothing, such as anti-shot jackets worn by most other police forces when dealing with public order situations?

The reserve proposal is all about policing on the cheap.

It would seem that the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, does not want to pay for recruiting and training the extra gardaí required.

But he should realise before it’s too late that spending money on part-time reservists is a joke.

Cllr Noel Collins
‘St Jude’s’
Co Cork

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