Minister Charlie Flanagan and Commissioner Drew Harris
Limerick Chamber of Commerce has called on Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to get more gardai back on the streets of Limerick.
The Chamber has been extremely vocal in lobbying Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan on the matter over recent months. It has been particularly focused on its call for private security services being hired for the District Courthouse to free up gardai for community policing across the city and county. Responding to Commissioner Harris’ announcement, CEO Dee Ryan welcomed the changes but urged that priority be given to frontline resourcing challenges like those currently being experienced in Limerick.
“Ultimately, they are about getting more gardai on the streets where the business community wants them. That’s something we applaud but the Commissioner indicated that it could take up to three years for all of the new changes to be implemented. We have a specific issue here in Limerick that needs to be addressed urgently,” she said.
Ms Ryan said that Limerick’s crime rate now compares favourably with that of other parts of the country. However, since the opening of the new courthouse, anywhere up to over four times more gardai than previously required are being deployed on security duties – a function that is contracted out to a private security firm in Dublin Courthouses.