Robbie Byrne reports
FIGURES obtained from the Department of Justice and Equality by Renua party leader Lucinda Creighton have shown that 342 bench warrants were awaiting execution in Waterford City and County as of November 31st, 2015.
The Bench Warrants, which call for Gardaí to arrest an individual and present them to the calling court, total 29,233 nationally – a figure Renua candidate Mailo Power believes “is the ultimate proof that law enforcement services are both understaffed and under-supported”.
“People do not feel safe in their homes,” she said. “A virtual reign of terror is being imposed on people, particularly in rural Waterford.”
This problem, she said, can be alleviated by “a renewed effort to recruit civilians that work in tandem with law enforcers.”
Mailo Power added: “Gardaí in rural Ireland have been hollowed out,” Ms Power said. “We need to reverse this damage with smart policing where crime is targeted with research and concentrated policing numbers.”
However, there is a possibility that the current warrant number might be higher than November’s figures suggest, as Courts tend to set cases before the year’s end, which tends to create a bench warrant backlog in January.