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O'Toole welcomes Garda Inspectorate report and calls for civilianisation to be implemented

8 November, 2006

The vice-chairperson of the Dublin Joint Policing Committee, Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O'Toole has welcomed the recommendation from the Garda Inspectorate for the employment of civilians in many positions at all levels of An Garda Síochana. Councillor O'Toole said, "Sinn Fein have been calling consistently for this civilianisation to take place for a number of years now and particularly in the context of the volunteer reserve debate."

He said, "We have always said that the extra Garda numbers needed could be achieved via the civilianisation of appropriate tasks including standard traffic and office duties allowing for the redeployment of fully trained Gardai into the community. The introduction of McDowell's volunteer reserve inappropriately pre-empted the outcome of the Garda Inspectorate's review. Sinn Féin is calling for the reserve to be scrapped and, instead, the recommendations of this report should be fully implemented and its impact assessed.

"The Minister has indicated the government's support for the recommendations and this is welcome but we should not forget that the bulk of the issues highlighted by Justice Morris and many of his recommendations remain outstanding. This is unacceptable.

"I am calling on the Minister to implement the recommendations of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties' report 'Implementing Morris: An Agenda for Change' published on the 27th October. The ICCL report stresses the urgent need for the introduction of civilian oversight in the form of an independent policing authority because the measures introduced by the Garda Síochana Act 2005 give the Minister for Justice too much power thereby diminishing the independence of the Gardaí from the government of the day. The ICCL report also recommends that senior members of the Gardaí be appointed by the proposed independent authority rather than the Minister. At the heart of the ICCL's recommendations is human rights proofing of all Garda policies and practices." ENDS

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