IFA Countryside Chairman Brian Rushe said the recent attacks on elderly people in rural communities were very concerning.
IFA will be meeting the Assistant Commissioner of An Garda Síochána Paula Hillman next week to discuss what measures can be taken to make communities safer.
“Whatever resources are needed to assist the Gardaí in their work have to be made available. We will be encouraging the farming community to provide whatever help they can to support the work of the Gardaí. Apprehending those responsible requires a co-ordinated response,” he said.
Brian Rushe said the victims of these attacks were targeted by gangs and subjected to horrific assaults. “Nobody should feel under threat in their own home.”
“The communities of these victims now feel vulnerable and unsafe because of the attacks. We will be working with Assistant Commissioner Paula Hillman to develop community policing that gives a greater sense of security to those living in rural areas,” he said.
IFA, together with An Garda Síochána and FBD has launched a printed information pack for its members across the country that provides tips on how farmers and the rural community can stay safe and secure in their homes, on their farms and online in the months ahead.
This initiative highlights the need for vigilance in many areas with practical and straightforward information on safety, security and general wellbeing as well as the importance of looking out for your friends, family and neighbours.
IFA Countryside Chairman Brian Rushe said, “When we entered 2020 we never imagined the year that lay ahead of us. COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we behave at home, on our farms and in our businesses.”
“As we look ahead to 2021, we must continue to prioritise safety in our homes and look out for those that may need assistance in our communities. We are proud of the strong relationship that exists between ourselves, An Garda Siochàna and our insurance partners FBD. We hope this Guide will provide practical information to help and support you, your family and your neighbours in the months ahead.”
An Garda Siochana’s Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman said, “Since my appointment in May 2020 I’m delighted to continue to build on the partnership between IFA and An Garda Siochàna, and we are delighted to support the IFA’s ‘Be Safe and Secure in 2021’ campaign. As we navigate through the winter period together, I want to reassure you that we in An Garda Síochána are here to help, to work with communities to ensure the support you need is available. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to contact your local Garda Station or phone your Local Authority Helpline. With dark evenings and mornings upon us, the need for road safety and ‘’Be Safe Be Seen’’ is as vital as ever. Whether waking, cycling or driving, preparing for the road trip is essential”.
IFA Countryside Chairman Richard Kennedy has reacted to the launch of the new Garda operating model by the Garda Commissioner, ‘A Policing Service for the Future’.
IFA is a contributor to the annual national Policing Plan.
He said, “It is our view in IFA that the current policing model is not working. We have lobbied consistently for an increased Garda presence in rural areas. The new proposed operating model will result in an additional 1,800 gardai working on the frontline, in the community. This is very welcome news, ensuring Gardai will be able to do the work they were trained for, out and about in rural areas, as opposed to sitting in offices filing paperwork.”
We support the Garda Commissioner on this initiative.
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