The Republic of Ireland’s police force has been cut by 800 in the past four years despite the growing crime rate.
The country had 342 gardai per 100,000 people in 2006 when overall Garda numbers were estimated at 14,411.
The Republic still has more officers than the UK which has 333 per 100,000 but much less than Spain where there are 494 officers per 100,000 - and comes half-way down a league of policing levels across the world.
The Garda Representative Assocation claims that Ireland is on the brink of a policing crisis with insufficient “numbers to police this State”. “The continued rise in gangland crime continues to deeply concern people,” said secretary PJ Stone.