Local businesses in Monasterevin have welcomed the news that a garda car has been rearranged for the area after the local patrol car was decommissioned last week.
As the Christmas shopping period hit it’s peak, local retailers were shocked to learn the Monasterevin patrol car had exceeded its allowed milage of 300,000km and had to be decommissioned.
The business community were fearful it would take longer for a patrol car to respond from Kildare station than from the local barracks. Local newsagent, Noel Kelly pointed out that local gardai normally increase patrols around Christmas as a deterrent to would be criminals.
“While, I am delighted that our area is being looked after, I am aware that this arrangement may leave other parts of the county exposed. The issue here is about resources for the gardai and we are in the middle of a crime wave across the country with all the violent break-ins we’ve read about in the papers and heard about on TV. If there are not enough garda patrols, it can leave areas vulnerable to these types of crimes,” he said.
“Our gardai are stretched. They are doing a great job in very adverse circumstances. I could not lavish enough praise on them, they are top notch. If we had a Sergeant or a garda of less calibre, they wouldn’t manage at all.”
Before the new cover arrangements were arranged, manager at Supervalu, James Tierney had expressed his concerns about the lack of garda cover over the busiest shopping period of the year. However, he was delighted to learn that a garda patrol had been put in place and a new patrol car is on its way in the New Year.
“It is important for all the businesses in Monasterevin that the gardai are resourced properly to look after them , and all the householders in the area,” he added.
When a garda car clocks up 300,000km, the gardai, by law, have to remove it from the roads, even if it is road worthy and in good running order.
This is due to a clause in the contract between An Garda Siochana and car manufacturer Ford.
Earlier this month, Deputy Catherine Murphy expressed her concerns about policing levels in Kildare.
She says certain areas of the country suffer a severely disproportionate service compared to others.
According to Dep. Murphy, Kildare fares worst of all with 628 persons per garda.