An Garda Síochana says the community in Donegal Town would be better served by more patrols and on the beat Gardai.
The force has issued a statement this afternoon after reports that the 24 hour station there could be downgraded.
The statement from Garda management says the analysis of calls to Donegal Town Garda station shows very few calls to the station during off-peak hours.
It states that Gardai on station duty would better serve the community out on patrol during those hours.
This plan to increase patrols has become known as ‘smart policing’.
But speaking to Ocean FM News earlier, Brendan O’Connor the Donegal spokesperson for the Garda Representative Association said the whole ‘notion’ of smart policing is ‘nonsense’.
He’s been speaking to our reporter Barry Whyte:
Full statement from An Garda Siochana today:
An Garda Síochana does not comment on remarks by third parties.
At present, Donegal Town Garda station is open on a 24-hour basis. In addition, a Garda patrol and response service is delivered from Donegal Town on a 24-hour basis. However, from analysis of callers to the station, particularly during night time hours, it is apparent that there are very few callers to the Garda station during off peak hours. An Garda Síochána is of the view that the community in Donegal Town would be better served by the increased patrolling, including beat patrols, which would be delivered if the Garda member who would normally be on station duty were out patrolling during off peak hours.
The Garda commitment to the policing of Donegal Town is apparent by the significant refurbishment of Donegal Town Garda Station, which it is hoped will commence before the Summer. Furthermore, there are no plans to reduce the number of Garda members in Donegal Town. Indeed, despite recent retirements, the number of Gardai in Donegal Town and surrounding areas has been maintained in recent years.
An Garda Síochána wish to emphasize that there is no downgrading in patrolling or Garda response in Donegal Town. We further wish to emphasize that no decision has been made yet. The matter was circulated to the Donegal Joint Policing Committee for further discussion and it remains in the consultation stage.”