The good news
Garda numbers in Kildare have recovered considerably in the past five years since a low of 2014.
It is now the highest it has been in many years, according to senior officers who were speaking a last Monday evening’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
There are now 363 Gardai in Kildare. At its lowest, in 2014 there were 301, affected mainly by a recruitment ban which prevented the force from replace retiring members.
The meeting heard how every few months, the numbers are being boosted by 10 new members from Templemore, which are shared out between the three Kildare divisions.
“And I can tell you there is a list as long as your arm of experienced members looking to get a transfer to come down here,” Chief Superintendent Brian Sutton explained.
As it stands now there are 308 gardai, 47 sergeants, four inspectors, three superintendents and one chief superintendents.
This gives a ratio of 620 members of the population per Garda. It was, at one point, 725. According to Cllr Martin Miley who chairs the JPC, the ideal figure is 406, although that would involve having more than 550 Gardai, an increase of 51% on current numbers.
Cllr Naoise O’Cearuil called for a greater allocation of Gardai to Maynooth, given that there has been, he said, a five percent increase in the university population there.
There are now, he claimed 15,000 permanent residents of the town and another 15,000 people attending the college.
Chief Superintendent Sutton explained that new Gardai in that area go to Leixlip as it is a “training Station”, but agreed to look into the situation in Maynooth.