first_imgDONEGAL Mayor Frank McBrearty has expressed his anger after he was forced to wait THREE MONTHS to get a response to a letter he sent to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.And the Labour Party councillor was even more unhappy with the response he received to questions he raised about Garda resources in the county.The Mayor says he wrote to Mr Shatter on January 16th during a crimewave across the county in which several pensioners were targeted. But the Minister only replied on April 25. Mr Shatter did reveal that Gardai launched a special crackdown on the burglary gangs. He said Operation Liath in Donegal led to 34 arrests.“But he didn’t answer a single question I put to him,” said Cllr McBrearty.“The issue I raised was not the resources available to Gardai but the management of those resources and as far as I’m concerned Mr Shatter didn’t answer that.”The Minister also refused to meet the Mayor. The full correspondence is below:Mayor McBrearty – letter to Alan Shatter – dated January 16.FAO Private SecretaryDear MinisterI am writing to you concerning the cross border crime spree that is ongoing in Donegal at present and where (OAP) pensioners are being targeted by criminal gangs from across the border. As Mayor of Donegal I am being contacted by the public and the media to comment about this crime spree. I wish to express my opinion to you concerning policing in Donegal. I have listened to other political party’s views concerning Garda Station closures and the reduction of Garda personnel. I do not accept the arguments of the other political party’s and as someone who has a vast knowledge of policing, in my opinion the problem with policing in Donegal solely lies with Senior Garda management and how they are managing policing along the border in Donegal. The problems we have with the border is that it is open and that we neighbour a different jurisdiction with different laws, so it makes it impossible to police. How do we deal with this problem, we deal with it by having a proper policing plan and accountability at the highest level within Senior Garda management which we do not have at present, the word that is used by Garda management when questioned is operational. The border in Donegal has many roads that have been reopened due to the peace process and the fact is that Donegal as a county has the longest border which neighbours three county’s(Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh) that are in a different jurisdiction. There has been many questions about policing in Donegal for many years which still have not been dealt with including question that have been asked by both our parties while in opposition. The security of the state is at risk and the health and well being of law abiding citizens are at risk due to cross border criminal gangs and we should look at the role that the army could play if they are needed. It would take up too much paper for me to go into detail about policing in Donegal, which you are well aware of. If it is the case that Senior management feel that resources is the problem then they need to reflect that to you, but I personally would not agree. During the height of the troubles which were in very difficult economical times there was a lot less Gardai than there is now. I would respectively request a meeting with yourself concerning these matters. I look forward to your response,Yours Faithfully,Cllr Frank McBrearty JnrMayor of Donegal Minister Shatter’s response – dated April 25.Dear Frank,I  refer to your correspondence dated 16 January, 2013 in relation to crimein Donegal.I am very conscious of the concerns surrounding a number of incidents ofaggravated burglary in County Donegal, and can assure you that the Gardaíhave taken effective operational measures to deal with this problem,including additional patrols and checkpoints, dissemination of intelligencewithin the Force concerning potential suspects and continuing closecooperation with the PSNI.   In this regard it is important to note thatthere is excellent cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI indisrupting and investigating attempts by criminals to take advantage of theborder.As you will be aware, last year the Garda Commissioner put in place aspecific operation – Operation Fiacla – to address incidents of burglary,aggravated burglaries and related offences throughout the country.Operation Fiacla is intelligence driven and special initiatives have beenimplemented in each Garda Region to target suspect offenders.  I aminformed that as of the end of March 2013, 4,226 persons have been arrestedand 2,327 persons have been charged under Operation Fiacla.I am also informed by the Garda authorities that, running in conjunctionwith national operations such as Operation Fiacla, Operation Liath wasintroduced within Donegal Division in January 2013 as an operationalstrategy to improve public safety and enhance the effectiveness of highvisibility police resources within the Division.The main focus of the operation, which is ongoing, is to disrupt andprevent criminality against older persons within the community,  toapprehend suspects in the commission and the attempted commission ofoffences, and to fully investigate, detect and prosecute any offencesoutstanding against those suspects and groups.  This will be achievedthrough a focused, targeted and coordinated approach by An Garda Síochána.The objectives of the operation are being addressed through intelligenceled patrols, checkpoints, continued liaison between An Garda Síochána andthe Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), intelligence gathering andthe continued support and rejuvenation of Neighbourhood Watch and CommunityAlert schemes.Since the introduction of Operation Liath, 12 persons have been arrestedfor burglary related incidents and 22 persons have been arrested for theftrelated incidents in Donegal Garda Division.  These matters are currentlybefore the Courts.I regret that due to a very heavy schedule I am not in a position to meetwith you at this time. However, the Garda Commissioner has assured me thatbringing the perpetrators of the burglary attacks in the Donegal area tojustice is an absolute priority and that An Garda Síochána is devoting allthe resources necessary to achieve this.While I and the Garda Commissioner have been concerned at the incidence ofburglaries nationally during 2011, the official Central Statistics Officecrime figures for 2012 show that this trend has been reversed and thiscoincides with the introduction of Operation Fiacla by the GardaCommissioner last year.  While I am aware of the appalling impact whichsome of the burglaries in Donegal have had on the victims, I am encouragedby the fact the CSO figures for the Donegal Division show a reduction of8.8% in burglaries during 2012 which is actually ahead of the overall trendnationally. Indeed the crime statistics generally are very positive and itis clear that the Gardaí, with considerable community support, are making asignificant impact on crime.Finally, I am assured that local Garda Management closely monitors theallocation of all resources in the context of crime trends, policing needsand other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional andRegional level, to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and thebest possible Garda service is provided to the public.Yours sincerely,___________________Alan Shatter T.D.MINISTER FOR JUSTICE,EQUALITY AND DEFENCEDONEGAL CRIMEWAVE: MAYOR’S ANGER AT THREE MONTH DELAY IN RESPONSE FROM JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN SHATTER was last modified: April 29th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Alan ShatterCllr Frank McBreartydonegal burglariesDONEGAL CRIMEWAVE: MAYOR’S ANGER AT THREE MONTH DELAY IN RESPONSE FROM JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN SHATTERlast_img

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