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'Gardaí needed in every Waterford village to stop drug crime and gang wars'

Dylan White

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Dylan White

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dylan.white@iconicnews.ie

'Gardaí needed in every Waterford village to stop drug crime and gang wars'

Waterford student Paul O’Dwyer calls for garda presence in 'every village'

A Waterford student says there needs to be a member of An Garda Síochána in “every village” to combat crime. 

Paul O’Dwyer says the Waterford public needs to challenge general election candidates on the campaign trail about the “huge” problem of crime, along with other issues such as emigration, healthcare and housing. 

“We need boots on the ground. We need to stop crimes when they are small, stop people who are shoplifting before they become bank robbers,” Paul tells WaterfordLive.ie.

Waterford Institute of Technology student Paul O'Dwyer

“We need a guard in every village, who are part of our communities and can deal with issues. If there are five young people about to start selling drugs in a local village, having a guard there could dissuade even two of them and that’s a success. Obviously not all crimes can be dealt with at a local level and that’s when the likes of CAB, the drugs squad and the armed response comes in.

"But unless the gardaí are given the assets to deal with crime, we are going to see massive gang wars between counties. It will go from a local to a national level. In a small town, we'll see two small gangs battling for street corners. That will lead to gangs in neighbouring towns battling for control,” says Paul, who is currently doing a Masters in Institutional Racism at Waterford Institute of Technology. 

He is also calling on young people to vote on February 8. “There’s a nasty view from some young people that there’s no point voting because the same crowd are going to get in again. The Eighth Amendment and same-sex marriage referendums saw huge turnouts from all age groups, and we should get that for this election,” the 25-year-old adds.