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THE people of rural Clare need garda stations to reopen to feel safe in their homes, it has been claimed.

It comes after a statement from the Justice Minister that there are no plans to reopen closed Garda stations in Clare.

During 2011 and 2012, the closure of 9 stations in Clare was implemented as part of nationwide review and Shannon Sinn Feinn Councillor Mike McKee has said that this needs to be reversed to curb burglaries in rural areas.

He said in a statement: “When 139 Garda stations around the country were closed as a result of the Programme it was to later emerge that the total amount of the estimated savings to the State was €556,000 per annum. Clare, which suffered a 6.5 per cent ratio closure of Garda stations, would hence have been in the savings bracket of a paltry sum of around €36,000.”

Councillor Mike McKee added; “A pilot scheme to reopen Garda stations, both rural and urban, to determine the possible positive impact such openings would have in areas effected by burglaries and theft, failed to include any previously closed Garda stations in Clare.

“The Government needs to focus on increasing Garda numbers and ensuring that Gardai are appropriately resourced to protect and serve the community.”

“It’s estimated that about 30 per cent of burglaries go unreported. Any breakdown in the link between communities and Gardai will have a significant impact on reported crime figures as well.”

“So in Clare, we must have additional resources and reopened Garda stations, for isolated, elderly and rural communities, who will see the benefits of feeling safe in their homes.”

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