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Waterford in need of more Gardai - Shanahan

Waterford needs more Gardai assigned to the division - according to local Independent TD, Matt Shanahan.

Under the new divisional model, Waterford has become the headquarters of the South East division, which includes Carlow and Kilkenny.

Speaking in Dail Eireann, Shanahan told the Dail that there are actually less Gardai here than there was two years ago.

"Waterford needs increased policing capability in terms of additional policing numbers. At present, our headcount is probably 16 officers lower than it was two years ago. It is hard to understand how that is the case, given that the division is supposed to be increasing. The site houses the division of the armed response unit in Waterford and is also the control room and support base for all 999 calls for the ten counties of the eastern region."

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Shanahan also believes that there isn't enough room on site in Waterford Garda Station for the new personnel in Ballybricken.

"This division does not have the present built capacity to fully accommodate the new personnel coming into the station. However, there is ample room on the present site to accommodate expansion and the extension of the existing building. This must be a priority within the new policing plan. There is absolutely no sense in nominating Waterford as the new divisional headquarters if we cannot have the facilities and headcount required in order to carry out the role of a divisional headquarters."

Shanahan believes that without adequate resources, policing cannot change. Deputy Shanahan appealed for more resources.

"I have seen the control room where controllers sit cheek by jowl in a room with a lack of space and ventilation. It is hard to believe, given how this facility is currently structured, that it can provide adequately for such an important function within the new divisional headquarters. We may be proposing a new policing model but without resourcing nothing will change. This is true also of the Garda stations in Tramore and Dungarvan, where new sergeant positions are yet to be activated, and the divisional headquarters in Waterford is short at least 16 full-time officers."

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