Resources key to success of new garda reforms – Martin Kenny TD
Responding to the announcement of Garda Siochána reforms today, Sinn Féin justice spokesman, Martin Kenny TD said that the stated principles behind the measures are progressive, but without adequate resources and training, they cannot work.
Deputy Kenny said:
“Emphasis on community policing, a reduction in administrative duties for gardaí in favour of more frontline services are, of course, to be welcomed and are based on the stated principles behind the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.
“However, I am very concerned that these plans will come to nothing unless additional resources are provided to the police service to implement them. Just two weeks ago the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, was telling senior officers to scale back for the rest of the year to deal with a wage bill overspend of €4.5 million.
“This does not square with plans to increase community policing, involve community stakeholders or protect people against increasing levels of criminal activity in their communities.
“Rural policing is a matter of concern too, when the plans announced today involve creating such large garda divisions in areas where resources are already spread very thinly.
“Is the Commissioner aware, for example, that 111 out of 564 operational garda stations have no broadband and that most garda stations are at lower staffing levels now than they were in 2014?”
“We need to hear now from Minister Flanagan that the funding and infrastructure necessary will be made available to the police service.”