IFA President John Bryan has said today’s meeting with the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter was an important opportunity to raise the concerns of IFA members about rural crime. He said Minister Shatter has agreed to set up a meeting between IFA and the Garda Commissioner to develop proposals aimed at tackling the problem.
John Bryan sought a clear commitment from the Minister that Garda mobile units would be increased to reassure people living in rural communities. “Minister Shatter acknowledged the genuine concerns raised by IFA, and pledged to intensify a number of Garda initiatives aimed at curbing criminals who move into an area and target vulnerable people.”
At the meeting, the IFA President set out a rural crime prevention strategy for each of the six Garda regions throughout the country, with an Assistant Garda Commissioner in each region assigned to deliver the strategy.
“Our members across the country are extremely concerned by the vicious nature of some attacks on people living in the countryside in recent months. This is borne out in a survey of IFA members which found that almost 40% of members feel less secure in their own homes.”
John Bryan said, “There is a fantastic community spirit in rural Ireland and the work of groups such as Community Alert must be better co-ordinated better with An Garda Síochána. There is a clear need for a single national texting initiative which allows rural communities to report and log suspicious activity onto the Garda Pulse System. This can allow the Gardai respond in the quickest time possible”.
He said, “Minister Shatter needs to lead this co-ordinated effort by re-establishing the National Crime Council, which must have a clear objective of maximising the use of all modern technology and communication tools to develop a closer connection between rural communities and An Garda Síochána as part of a rural crime prevention strategy”.