Chief Superintendent Derek Smart has stated there was no garda chief in the country who would tell you he had enough members
A more visible garda presence is needed on the streets of Clonmel.
That’s according to local Councillor Siobhán Ambrose.
There was a time when they knew the gardaí but that was no longer the case because they weren’t visible on the streets, she told the Tipperary Joint Policing Committee meeting.
There were issues with people loitering on the streets of Clonmel, as there were in other towns, and there wasn’t a great garda presence walking around the streets.
Cllr Ambrose asked if more gardaí had been requested for the town.
She welcomed Inspector Paul Gray, who it was announced would replace Inspector Sean Leahy in Clonmel.
Chief Superintendent Derek Smart said there was no garda chief in the country who would tell you he had enough members.
He would talk to Superintendent William Leahy about the visibility of gardaí on the streets of Clonmel.
A campaign on recruitment had been held in the last number of months and the first intake of recruits would be going to the Garda College in Templemore in October, and hopefully would be available next March.
Covid had thrown a lot of planning out of place with regard to recruits going to Templemore. Up to 200 new members per group would be available every eleven weeks from June of next year.
Chief Supt Smart said that “numbers would be tight” and it would be a challenge to utilise the members they had to deal with all the issues they were dealing with.
It was a case of making sure the garda resources were in the right place.
“Where people see offences being committed, report them to us,” he stated.
He advised people to take the time to pick up the phone and report incidents to them.
“That’s what our job is, that’s why we are here,” he said.
He said they could then put their resources into place to deal with that.
“We have a number of initiatives in place, such as the crime tasking unit that would be based right around the division.”
A number of members would be involved in that unit to support the regular units regarding investigations and arrests. “There are issues with members being out (of work), and a lot of them would have been injured on duty.
“It takes time to get them back into the workplace, like any other working organisation that is an issue for us.”
He said there were other members who had to be given certain accommodations on their return.
“We have to work around that as well, where maybe they can only work certain hours, which is part of their recovery.”
Chief Supt Smart said he knew that Supt Leahy was working hard on CCTV for Clonmel, and he would ask him to liaise with Cllr Ambrose to give the up to date position.
Cllr Richie Molloy said there had been an incident in Clonmel Rugby Club the previous weekend when a club member had been assaulted.
Club members felt there wasn’t enough policing in the area, said Cllr Molloy.
He was aware that the club was trying to arrange a meeting with the local superintendent about the incident.
Chief Supt Smart said he had only become aware of this incident on the morning of the meeting, and had spoken to Supt William Leahy.
While he had one side of the story, Chief Supt Smart said he needed to find out the full story.
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