Declan Breathnach TD

Louth (and East Meath)

1st April  2019

Breathnach says more visible Garda presence on the street needed in addition to a joint Garda Siochána-PSNI crime prevention strategy to tackle rural crime

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has spoken about the conclusions reached in a Report entitled “Community Policing and Rural Crime” issued by the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality.

“Many stakeholders presented to this Committee in the course of compiling this report.

“From my point of view living in a border area, crime knows no boundaries.  We need to build on the cross-border co-operation which exists between an Garda Siochána and the PSNI in tackling rural crime.   The discovery this weekend of the huge quantity of counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes in a warehouse in my own townland of Knockbridge resulted from intelligence gathered by the Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force, set up three years ago to investigate organised crime on both sides of the Border, including paramilitarism.

“On the cross-border side of things, we need a greater sharing of Court conviction information North and South.

“People need to feel safer in their communities, and having a greater number of visible Gardaí on the beat would go some way towards this.  On the issue of CCTV, immediate clarification is needed on the issue of GDPR rules and how they apply to those monitoring rural CCTV.

“The Report outlined the need for a multi-agency approach as is used in the North and the UK.  The PSNI informed the Committee of the effectiveness of multi-agency hubs involving the Health Service, access to out-of-hours health intervention, including mental health services.  Members of An Garda Siochána need to be adequately trained to deal with these complex issues, as frequent interventions by Gardaí in cases involving mental health issues are commonplace.

-Ends- Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D.,

Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638) (T) 01 6183549 (Email)  declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie