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Sinn Féin response to publication of Commission on Future of Policing document

18 September, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has welcomed the publication of the Commission on Future of Policing Document and has thanked Kathleen O’Toole and the Commission for their work. 

He also stated that he would be seeking further clarification on a number of areas, in which the Party has reservations; in particular, the removal of certain powers from the Policing Authority and being given to the Commissioner, and the new Garda Board. 

Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:

“This is a very significant, detailed document, which we will examine carefully.

“Sinn Féin is focused on policing reform that puts the controversies of recent years behind us and delivers a policing service rather than a policing force, and which is properly accountable to and representative of the community it serves.

“Many of the recommendations are, on first reading, positive and address many of the points raised by Sinn Féin in our submission.

“It is positive to see, as we would have wished, a strong emphasis on Community Gardaí, on the role of Gardaí in working with other agencies ensuring that people do not come to harm, as well as the emphasis on strong powers for the new ombudsman’s office, IOPO.

“The emphasis on Human Rights, on tackling cybercrime, and on quality training for Gardaí, as well as an access programme are welcome also.

“Much of the details of the report however, will have to be studied further, and we will be engaging with the Commission, and with the Minister to seek clarification on some of these proposals.

“However there are areas in which we will be seeking clarification, and in which we have some reservations. Specifically, in relation to the responsibilities being removed from the remit of the independent and external Policing Authority, which is to be replaced, and being concentrated in the new statutory Garda Board and the Garda Commissioner. 

“Such powers include power of Senior Appointments. This is contrary to our submission in which we sought more power for the independent Policing Authority, including in relation to appointments. 

“We will also be seeking further clarification and detail in relation to the proposal for a Strategic Threat Analysis Coordinator, including the need for accountability and oversight in the area of Security & Intelligence.  

“We look forward to engaging further with the Commission, and through the Oireachtas, to discuss this further.”

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