Sinn Féin ‘want an independent policing board’ – Mac Lochlainn

7 March, 2015 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Last year, Sinn Féin published our proposals to reform the policing system in the 26 Counties, entitled “A New Beginning to Policing”. As Republicans we seek the development of a police service, free from political interference and fully accountable to our communities at local and state level.

Of course, we want one police service for the island but in the interim, we seek to ensure that both An Garda Síochána and the PSNI meet that criterion.

The various crises faced by An Garda Síochána over recent years demonstrate that it is a police service not fit for purpose but Sinn Féin believes that if our proposals are adopted and that if the Gardaí are adequately resourced, this can be turned around.

Sinn Féin wants to see the delivery of an independent policing board with real teeth. We want a Garda Ombudsman with real teeth.

And we want the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate’s three-year long review and report into how the Gardaí investigate crime to be fully implemented.

All of this will deliver the change that is needed.

On behalf of the Ard Chomhairle, I am asking you to oppose motion 205.

The Turn Off the Red Light campaign is supported by over 70 organisations including a wide range of trade unions as well as the leading women’s groups, domestic violence support centres, immigrant support organisations and many more community and voluntary organisations in the 26 Counties.

This campaign has led to the reality that later this year, legislation will be enacted across this island that will end the criminalisation of women and men in prostitution and instead put the responsibility on to the people who feed this injustice, those men who seek to purchase sex.

We need to send a clear message to Irish men that it is not ok for them to purchase another person’s body. Support for prostitution is support for inequality. It is an insult to the promise and values inherent in the 1916 proclamation.

Support for the Turn Off the Red Light campaign is evidence based. The evidence emerging from Sweden and Norway demonstrates their ban on purchasing sexual services has reduced demand for paid sex and thus contributed to reducing the extent of prostitution and by doing so, making Sweden and Norway a less attractive country for prostitution based trafficking than if the law had not been adopted.

Delegates, I urge you to oppose motion 205