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Anger as tackling domestic and sexual violence are not named in Minister’s policing priorities for 2008

1 November, 2007

Speaking today as Justice Minister Brian Lenihan published his policing priorities for 2008 Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD described as a disgrace the fact that tackling domestic and sexual violence has once again been left out of the Minister's named priorities.

Speaking today he said, "All the research tells us that domestic violence is one of, if not the most prevalent of all crimes against the person. With regard to sexual violence we know that this state has very low conviction rates and very high attrition rates. Despite these facts, neither domestic nor sexual violence featured in the Garda Policing Plan 2007.

"Sinn Féin highlighted these facts in our submission to the 2008 Garda Policing Plan and called on Minister Lenihan to ensure that tackling domestic and sexual violence is high on his list of priorities for 2008.

"We sought a commitment to address the variation in Garda practice across the state and within stations. This is a serious problem and can impede women from making complaints or even undermine the cases that are brought forward.

"We called for greater investment in specialised training and ongoing in-service training for Gardaí given the distinct nature of crimes of domestic and sexual violence.

"However, tackling these offences has once again been omitted from the Minister's priorities which I believe is an absolute disgrace. The Minister has failed victims of domestic and sexual violence throughout the state." ENDS

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