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Ó Snodaigh calls for dedicated civilian traffic corps

18 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for the introduction of a dedicated civilian Traffic Corps. Reacting to news today that the traffic corps is to get a boost of an extra 200 Gardaí Deputy Ó Snodaigh said it makes no sense whatsoever to be putting trained Gardaí on traffic duty while the state is seeking to recruit civilians to fight crime.

He said, "While the Minister is busy advertising for civilians to join his new Garda reserve to fight crime many Gardaí, fully trained in fighting crime, are working in the traffic corps. And news this morning tells us that the traffic corps is to be boosted by a further 200 Gardaí. This makes no sense whatsoever. The Minister must introduce a dedicated civilian traffic corps which would free up Gardaí to be deployed in the fight against crime thus eliminating the requirement for a Garda reserve.

"The Garda reserve is a poor substitute for proper funding of community policing. It is unfair to impose substandard policing on communities who deserve a professional service from fully trained high standard police officers. And it would be unfair on the volunteers themselves who would form part of a parallel police force incapable of ensuring comparable human rights standards in their activities.

"This concept poses serious human rights concerns and will only serve to dissolve community confidence in the Garda Síochána. The plan should be abandoned and extra Garda numbers should be made up through the civilianisation of a number of Garda duties in particular admin duties and by introducing a dedicated civilian traffic corps." ENDS

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