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Sinn Féin meets Garda Inspectorate to discuss Garda priorities

3 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has this morning met with the Garda Inspectorate to discuss some of the issues arising from the recommendations in the Inspectorate's latest report and Sinn Féin's own proposals for Garda priorities in the coming year including possible timeframes for their implementation.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh will outline Sinn Féin's proposals for Garda Priorities in the Dáil today during statements on tackling crime.

Speaking after the meeting Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "As part of Sinn Féin's efforts to ensure that serious drug and gun crime become fully resourced, top priorities for the Gardaí and Government in the coming year, this morning I met the Garda Inspectorate.

"Sinn Féin was encouraged when many of our proposals on the deployment of personnel in the party's submission to the Gardaí Policing Plan 2008, were mirrored in the Inspectorates' recommendations and we sought a meeting with the Inspectorate to look at ways to ensure that these recommendations are implemented.

"The Inspectorates' report concurs with Sinn Féin that in order to successfully tackle crime Gardaí must be much more visible in communities and that this must involve alterations to the current shift times in urban areas especially.

"Sinn Féin's key priority for the Policing Plan 2008 is to see more Gardaí on the beat patrolling residential areas with greater frequency and particularly during the hours when problematic and criminal behaviour occurs.

"The Inspectorate again highlights the low level of civilianisation in our police force relative to international standards.

"Sinn Fein called for the Policing Plan 2008 to progress a major process of civilianisation of appropriate administrative and other tasks so as to free up fully trained Gardaí to be re-deployed into much needed patrolling duties and ultimately to take on serious crime.

"We were eager to discuss with the Garda Inspectorate realistic time-frames for the implementation of our mutual recommendations and are now satisfied that this process should commence at once." ENDS

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