Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has today (Thursday) said that additional funds of €55m to be allocated to the Gardai are needed to assist them to tackle crime.

“Our Gardai are at the coalface of tackling the crime gangs and these extra funds are welcome to cover overtime and additional resources needed.  Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has pushed to secure this additional funding at cabinet level to ensure the Gardai have the power to continue their work against gangs.

“This funding is made up of €40 million additional Exchequer funding, plus €15 million to be funded from projected savings based on analysis of expenditure trends elsewhere in the Justice and Equality sector.

“This Government is making progress is the battle against crime. The CSO figures for 2015 show a decrease in most categories of crime and the Text Alert scheme and Operation THOR have both been a success. However more needs to be done. This extra funding is very welcome and means the Gardaí have more resources to tackle crime.

“Fine Gael is committed to bringing Garda numbers to 15,000, as well as providing an additional €46 million to the Garda fleet and €205 million for technology, all of which is vital. I will continue to liaise with Minister Fitzgerald and the Garda to ensure adequate Garda resources in Kildare which remains one of my main priorities.