A €10 million funding boost for Garda overtime in Dublin has been described as a “stopgap” solution until more Gardaí are fully trained.
Following international media reports about crime in the north inner city, Justice Minister Helen McEntee announced the money would mean an extra 20,000 extra Garda shifts in the capital.
Former Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy said the announcement was good news but noted the shifts will have to be filled by serving members of An Garda Síochána.
“From the Minister’s perspective, it’s a stopgap until people come out of Templemore and the long-term members take up their positions,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“So, it’s very welcome, it really is.”
Mr Leahy said it would not be possible to force Gardaí to do overtime - but predicted many would anyway.
“It’s an opportunity to make back some ground and put some energy in putting a plan in place and accessing the funding that’s available,” he said.
“And the members themselves, once there is an appropriate structure in place and they’re supported and they’re not burnt out… I think they will take up on this.
“Despite the fact that they’re probably tired, they’re under pressure all the time.”
The former Assistant Garda Commissioner described the funding as "a lot of money” and said taxpayers will need to know they are getting “value for money”.
“I imagine that all the divisions across the city will have access to this fund and I imagine as well that it will be supported by a strategy with objectives, measures, targets and performance indicators,” he said.
“Ultimately, the measure will be a feeling of safety survey - so that people can feedback into it and say either they feel safe or they don’t.
“That’s what’s going to be really important about this.”
Main image: Gardaí in Dublin. Picture by: Alamy.com