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Domestic and Sexual Violence must be prioritised in Policing Plan 2008 - Minihan

27 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Councillor Louise Minihan has said Domestic and Sexual Violence must be named priorities in the Garda Policing Plan 2008.  Speaking this morning at the launch of Sinn Féin’s submission to the policing plan Councillor Minihan, who is a member of the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee, criticised the failure of the Gardaí to recognise Domestic and Sexual Violence as key priorities in previous policing plans.

She said, “All the research tells us that domestic violence is one of, if not the most prevalent of all crimes against the person.  With regard to sexual violence we know that this state has very low conviction rates and very high attrition rates.  Despite these facts neither domestic nor sexual violence feature in the Garda Policing Plan 2007.

“Sinn Féin believes that domestic and sexual violence should be named priorities, with actions and performance indicators, in the Garda Policing Plan 2008.

“In our submission we make a number of specific recommendations in relation to Domestic and Sexual Violence.

“We are seeking a commitment to address the variation in Garda practice across the state and within stations.  This is a serious problem and can impede women from making complaints or even undermine the cases that are brought forward.  Therefore the existing Garda policy on domestic violence and practice must become subject to monitoring, support and supervision to ensure it at least achieves the level of response expected and set down by that policy.

“There must be greater investment in specialised training and ongoing in-service training for Gardaí given the distinct nature of crimes of domestic and sexual violence. 

“We are also calling for provisions to work towards the establishment of an effective all-Ireland sex offenders register with arrangements for appropriate post-release supervision of sex offenders across the island.” ENDS

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