CALLS FOR LONGER USE OF GARDA VEHICLES AS CAR NUMBERS FALL DRAMATICALLY
In response to a series of Parliamentary Questions tabled by Deputy Barry, Minister Shatter has confirmed that 234 vehicles were withdrawn from service between January and September 2012. In addition, it has been confirmed that the number of Garda cars is now the lowest it has been since 2007. There were 2,729 cars on the road in 2008, 2,814 in 2009, 2,740 in 2010, 2,623 in 2011 and just 2,457 in 2012. This represents a 12% reduction in the fleet since 2009.
Deputy Barry said: “This absolutely confirms what I am being told by the Gardaí on the
ground. They cannot be expected to answer the growing menace of travelling who are terrorising – in particular – rural communities; without cars. It’s quite startling that the figures of vehicles in service are decreasing so rapidly and I am formally calling on the Garda Commissioner to work with the Department of Justice to try and resolve this issue.”
“I also asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to outline the breaches of Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and Road Traffic Legislation that occurred in order to
necessitate the removal of Garda cars from service at 300,000km; especially when these cars have an up to date National Car Test Certificate.
“In his answer, the Minister said that the relevant manufacturers had indicated that they are only prepared to guarantee the durability of the body structure and the chassis up to 300,000kms. This policy has and is being applied on an on-going basis.
“However, I feel that, at a time when some Gardai are telling me that they simply cannot answer calls for help because they don’t have Garda cars, we need to re-examine this blanket withdrawal of vehicles – many of which are perfectly safe and well maintained.”