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Cops, Robbers and Politicians August 2, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.

I think it’s pretty much safe to say that the Gardaí (police) in this country are understaffed and their resources are stretched to the limit.  Well we hear it all the time, don’t we ?  “Lack of Garda resources” has become the buzz phrase in every political debate in the country, be it in the Dáil or the corner of your local snug.  Right across the board from beat cops to queues at immigration points, it seems the folks in blue just haven’t the resources to provide a full service.

So just how bad is it ?  Well the good folks at the Rambling Man set about finding out and were shocked utterly flabbergasted at the findings.  The situation is bad !  As our American cousins would say “Real Bad !”.  More below …

Even if we include figures for Superintendents and Commissioners who are unlikely to be walking the beat or available to call out to your average 999 call, there are at present 11,747 Gardaí in the 26 counties.  These figures are from their own website. According to the latest census figures for 2006, which were released in July, the population of the 26 counties is now 4,234,925.

Lets do some simple calculations : 4,234,925 ÷ 11,747 = 361 (rounded to nearest full number).  Unless I am mistaken, that means there is 1 Garda to every 361 people in Ireland.  Jaysis !  Now I accept these figures are rough and there are more Gardaí in bigger towns and less in the country and so on, but per county in Ireland, there would only appear to be 361 ÷ 26 = 14 Gardaí per county.  This not taking into account the larger numbers of Gardaí in the likes of Dublin, Cork and Limerick …

I for one would love to have an explanation of the breakdown of personnel throughout the various different regions, the criteria for said distribution and most importantly the effect of these statistics on any Garda’s ability to call out to someone in trouble in a reasonable time frame.

Minister, is that you I see bolting for the door ? 



1. Seamus - August 8, 2006

Guards per county is one way of looking at it. But when you take the figures as Guards per crime then you see that it is the urban areas that are understaffed.

It’s all in how you spin it.

2. cp1302ger - August 8, 2006

yeah its not all the guards fault either, i’m sure. those dastardly politicians not keeping promises …

3. Should Gardaí be armed ? « The Rambling Man - October 22, 2007

[…] this opinion. I am basically prepared to go along with what the Gardaí themselves think but not being a fan of said organisation think they are heading down and tricky and sticky […]

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