Calls for reallocation of Gardaí to frontline duties to restore shopper confidence during crucial ‘Golden Quarter’

Limerick Chamber, the largest business representative body in the Mid-West has called for urgent action in relation to anti-social behaviour which it says is adding to the strain that businesses across Limerick are under in an already challenging trading environment.

Chamber Chief Executive, Dee Ryan said

I recently engaged with local Garda leadership specifically to outline the business community’s concerns around anti-social behaviour and to press for allocation of additional resources to visible policing, particularly during this crucial ‘golden quarter’ trading period for retail and hospitality businesses.

Sales through this important Christmas period are often relied upon to sustain businesses through leaner, quieter months of the year. In a year where the costs of doing business have jumped up dramatically it is crucial that everything possible is done to support keeping businesses and jobs viable.

Highlighting concerns for low numbers of recruits going through Garda training college in Templemore and the expected number of Garda retirements in coming years Ms Ryan continued:

It would be untrue to suggest that issues of criminality and anti-social behaviour are unique to Limerick, however we do have an opportunity to address our shortage in Garda numbers in a meaningful way. An anomaly exists in Limerick where circa 14 Gardaí are assigned to security duties in the Courthouse on Mulgrave Street. This allocation of Gardaí has an impact on resources available for frontline policing duties in Limerick and is contrary to the spirit of the 2018 ‘Future of Policing’ report. Indeed, in Dublin many similar types of courthouse security duties are performed by private security firms.

Media reports of anti-social behaviour in Rathkeale highlights the strain that Gardaí are under. I have written to Limerick TD’s to call for action to resolve this matter, to have courthouse security duties resourced differently and to return these 14 Gardaí to Limerick for deployment to other duties. This is an issue of grave concern to the business community.

Limerick Chamber’s mission is to build stronger, thriving Limerick city and county and that must involve these calls for law enforcement. Every effort must be made to ensure people see and feel a Garda presence on our streets.

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