Supt Jim Delaney
The most senior garda official in the Longford Division has roundly rejected claims people no longer have faith in policing to come forward and report crimes of a serious nature.
Superintendent Jim Delaney said he would deal with many of the comments raised by local politicians at last week’s Longford Municipal District meeting which suggested anti-social behaviour forces in the greater Ardnacassa and Cluain Ard areas of town were at an all time high.
However, he declined to launch a verbal assault on the thinly veiled criticisms which had been directed at him personally by a number of elected members last Wednesday evening.
“The bottom line is these are colleagues we work with on the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on what is a very good JPC and that has to be respected,” he said.
“The whole point of the JPC is for everyone of its members to work together and some of the points raised I will be happy to address at the next JPC.”
Supt Delaney said he was at pains to stand up for the many members who continue to serve and uphold the law in the Longford District, adding that insinuations concerning distrust and a lack of faith with gardaí among the public was unfounded.
“In terms of the statement of there being no faith in policing, for the men and women both civilian and members of gardaí in the Longford District, these are the people who serve the community of Longford,” he said.
“They need a voice and I am that voice and there just isn’t evidence to support that statement.
“We have the (District) courts on a Tuesday and they are full because of the hard work and the confidence people have in Longford Gardaí, otherwise people wouldn’t come forward.
“We have also had extra sittings of the Circuit Court which have had very successful outcomes and these things don’t just happen by accident.”
He said a “very positive” survey of burglary victims had been carried out in the Longford District and when this is published it would further bear those factors out.
The Longford Garda chief likewise alluded to the near 90 per cent satisfaction rating the force currently enjoyed alongside the many significant breakthroughs which had been made courtesy of the wider public’s support.
“There are a lot of decent, very hardworking people that live there (greater Ardnacassa area) and we are very aware of our obligation to deliver a policing service to these people and that is what we are trying to do,” he said.
“We have dealt with some very serious crimes in the Longford District and we couldn’t have done that without that confidentiality
“If you had a case where the statistics didn’t back it up, that the courts were empty and victims were not coming forward then maybe there might be something in it, but all these factors suggest that that statement (lack of faith in policing) needs to be looked at for what it is.”