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Sinn Féin calls for crackdown on serious drug and gun crime in Policing Plan 2008

27 August, 2007

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin this morning Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called for a crackdown on serious drug and gun crime in the Garda Policing Plan 2008.  Deputy Ó Snodaigh was launching Sinn Féin’s Submission to the Policing Plan in which the party also calls for all future policing plans to work towards the establishment of an all-Ireland policing service.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “This is the first time that the Gardaí have sought a submission from Sinn Féin to their policing plan and we welcome the opportunity to participate in the development of the plan.

“Sinn Féin believes the Policing Plan 2008 must reflect the priorities of communities and it must commit the Gardaí to working with communities in real partnerships.  We want to see an all-island police service established.And we hope that the Policing Plan 2008 and all future policing plans and corporate strategies will work towards the establishment of an all-Ireland policing service.  In the interim, we want policing services North and South that can attract widespread support from, and that are seen as an integral part of the host community as a whole.

“We believe that the Gardaí in 2008 must crackdown on Serious Drug and Gun Crime and we are making proposals to continue and increase the pursuit of major drug traffickers and lower level dealers, to double the resources of for the Garda Drugs Unit, to disband, re-train and re-deploy the Garda Special Branch to focus on organised crime and to increase the Garda profile in areas suffering chronic problems of public drug dealing.

“One of our key demands for 2008 is to see more Gardaí on foot and on bicycles patrolling anti-social behaviour hotspots and residential areas with greater frequency and particularly during the hours when problematic and criminal behaviour occurs. And to see the Gardaí interacting positively with the community as they do so.

“We want to see increased enforcement and prosecution of anti-social behaviour type offences while also making greater use of community restorative justice type arrangements.  We also want to make community policing posts more attractive with status and career opportunities to ensure the right people work and remain in this field.

“We are proposing that the Policing Plan for 2008 include for the first time a number of specific recommendations in relation to Domestic and Sexual Violence, the prevalence and gravity of which has not been reflected in previous policing plans.

“And finally we are making a series of recommendations in relation to a wide range of other priorities from CCTV, to policing demonstrations, to roads safety and missing persons.” ENDS

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