Gardaí spent €73m on overtime in the first seven months of this year, according to a new report.
The Garda Commissioner’s latest report to the Policing Authority shows that the force is now €14.4m over budget for overtime so far this year.
When it comes to pay and overtime combined, the force is now €7.07m over its profiled budget.
Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond told Newstalk we need to see more gardaí on our streets.
“We need to see a lot more Gardaí out on the beat,” he said.
“We need to see Gardaí in our communities, on our public transport and on our streets – particularly after dark,” he said.
“If that means additional overtime or, more importantly, recruiting more Gardaí, then that is something that should be prioritised by the minister.”
The monthly report also shows that more than 1,000 uses of force by Gardaí were recorded last month.
That includes 89 uses of force involving batons and incapacitating sprays last month – down from 117 the month before.
It notes that Gardaí did not use tasers or lethal firearms at all in July – although there were two uses of the controversial anti-spit hoods which were first introduce during the pandemic.
Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond hopes that supports needed for An Garda Síochána are kept up as we approach the budget.
“I think it is welcome that the Gardaí didn’t have to use force as much in the past month compared to previous but obviously it is always a reminder that policing is an extremely dangerous occupation,” he said.
“We’re very lucky to have the high quality of policing that we have. It is community-based policing and I hope it can decline but most importantly I hope the supports needed for An Garda Síochána are kept up as we approach the budget.”
At the end of last month there were 14,318 members of the force – including 11,516 of Garda rank.