Garda numbers in county remain static
Garda numbers in Wexford remained relatively static this year but the district is down about 40 gardai since 2010.
Chief Superintendent John Roche told members of the Joint Policing Committee that there were 262 gardai in the Wexford division in October and there are now 261 following the retirement of a female member stationed in New Ross.
He said there is approximately one guard per 557 people in the county which is the third worst ratio in the county.
Chief Superintendent Roche said that all 22 garda stations in the county remain open.
Cllr Davy Hynes pointed out that before the recession the county had around 40 more gardai and while he acknowledged that the county might be getting some new probationary gardai 'we can barely keep up with what's going on. Resources are a major element in the fight against crime.
Cllr Barbara Ann Murphy also wondered how many gardai were confined to restricted duties because of illness or injury and also wondered if it were possible to get an increased number of clerical staff to help gardai in their duties.
Chief Superintendent Roche said that last year Wexford received 15 new probationary gardai and he hoped to receive some more in 2016 adding he had applied for some. 'I don't know if I will get any', he said 'but I have applied.'
In relation to the clerical staff he said there were currently 29 clerical staff working within the county. However he said that it was skilled clerical staff he needed rather than just regular clerical staff. He said he needed people who could carry out their clerical duties without supervision and this was the problem.
He said that there are eight staff members on restricted duties because of illness or injury. These, he said, are assigned non-confrontational duties. 'They are anxious to work but are mainly confined to office duties.'
Deputy John Browne said the clerical staff nearly needed to be trained to garda level but said that when he rang a local garda station he liked to speak to a member of the gardai and not a clerical officer as a guard could deal with his query.
Chairman of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Michael Whelan, proposed that the committee send a delegation to the relevant body to argue their case as to why more gardai were needed in Wexford to deal with the crime here. This was agreed by all the members.