Rural crime has been an issue for many years, with serious and sometimes violent incidents leaving people to question if communities living in remote areas of Ireland are being properly protected by authorities.
Efforts have been made to address the issue in recent years. The gardaí are running an operation designed to tackle burglaries in winter months, together with public awareness campaigns, while the State also recently increased funding for local text alert schemes.
However, there is concern that targeted campaigns can only go so far, with a lack of dedicated stations and community policing in rural areas leaving communities feeling isolated. For example, community policing levels in Laois-Offaly have dropped dramatically from 44 community gardaí in 2009 to just seven last year.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to talk to victims of burglary about the impact on their lives and ask if there is enough policing and support services in place to ensure that they can sleep easy.
We will analyse the latest crime data to determine the areas of rural Ireland with the highest incidents of burglary and investigate the impact of the shuttering of garda stations.
In 2019, the Oireachtas Justice Committee released a report with 20 recommendations to promote community policing and reduce rural crime. We want to find out if these recommendations are being implemented.
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