Concerns raised over new Clare-Tipp Garda division
Concerns were raised at last month’s sitting of the Tipperary Joint Policing Committee about the changes to the Tipperary policing division.
Chief Superintendent Derek Smart said the Tipperary division is to amalgamate with Clare creating four areas. Clare will include most of the county.
The Lough Derg district includes but is not limited to Nenagh, Borrisokane and Roscrea but also Scarriff and Killaloe.
Tipperary Central will include Thurles and Cashel but also areas of south Tipperary like Fethard and Mullinahone.
Finally, Tipperary South will cover Clonmel, Tipperary Town and the rest of the county.
Members of the JPC were concerned the large areas would put pressure on police resources in Tipperary.
Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne asked what effect this would have on the JPC.
Councillor Ger Darcy was concerned that the Lough Derg area would be ‘unwieldy.’ Cllr Hughie McGrath echoed Cllr Darcy’s concerns.
However, Chief Supt Smart assured the committee that resources on the ground would not be affected.
“It won’t impact the front line, I can assure you of that,” said Chief Supt Smart.
He said the changes were mostly managerial, with the Chief Superintendent moving to Ennis.
He said the changes may free up time for Tipperary garda to work on community policing while detective superintendents focus on crime. In answer to Mr Browne, he said they may attend two JPCs.
He acknowledged that the Lough Derg district was large. But he also said that these changes were nationwide and set out in the Future of Policing Report.
When asked if he believed he had enough gardaí in Nenagh, Chief Supt Smart said that “no chief in the county will tell you they have enough members”.
He said more recruits would become available from March to June next year, and until then, it would be challenging.
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