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Garda Síochána needs reform as well as investment - Ó Snodaigh

16 November, 2006

Responding to indications this morning that additional funding for An Garda Síochána is to be announced in the Estimates Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said that without meaningful civilianisation of the Gardaí, extra money, though welcome, would be of limited value.


The Dublin South-Central TD said: “While additional resources are welcome there is limited value to be gained from pouring in money without meaningful reform.


“Ten years ago the 'Efficency and Effectiveness Report on Garda Reform' recommended that appropriate tasks be civilianised. Last week both the Garda Síochána Inspectorate and the Advisory Group’s reports recommended the same and in the intervening years Sinn Féin has consistently advocated civilianisation but it simply has not happened.


“Part of the estimate today should be ringfenced for a process of civilianising appropriate tasks including standard traffic and office duties, which would allow for the redeployment of fully trained Gardai into the community and save public money in the longer term.


“The Minister for Finance can give more money to the Gardaí but unless there is radical reform of how this money is spent there will be no positive impact in terms of crime reduction. The Government has failed to address the most pressing Garda operational issues such as why there are so few Gardaí on duty after dark, why there are so few patrolling localities on foot or on bicycles, why so little resources are put into community policing and why some Gardaí continue to abuse their positions with impunity.


“I will be watching the estimates closely, it is essential that the Minister make provisions for adequate resourcing of the Garda Ombudsman Commission.”



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