Policing reform will lead to safer communities - claims Laois TD and Minister

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

crime gardaí money

Minister Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

New garda reforms will bring significant improvements including safer communities, according to Laois TD Charlie Flanagan who oversees policing in Ireland as the Minister for Justice and Equality.

In a statement, Minister Flanagan welcomed today’s announcement by the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris of the new Operating Model for An Garda Síochána.

He said the new model will bring very significant improvements to structures, processes and services. He added that it would increase the number of frontline Gardaíl He claimed it would also maximise the organisation’s 'operational impact' at the local level to deliver what he said would be an improved, more consistent, highly visible policing service in communities.

“I welcome the rollout of this new operating model which meets a key commitment in the Government’s four-year implementation plan (A Policing Service for the Future).

"It is designed to reduce bureaucracy and move real power and decision making from Garda Headquarters to the Chief Superintendents leading Garda Divisions in the communities they serve. Importantly, it will also result in more frontline leadership positions with Sergeants and Inspectors on the ground where leadership, supervision and mentoring is crucial," said the Laois TD.

The Minister added this functional model has long been recommended by independent policing specialists, including the Garda Síochána Inspectorate and in the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. He said it it is also a key Government commitment in the Garda reform programme.

"I am glad to see the Commissioner moving to implementation.  In delivering on this commitment, the Commissioner has listened carefully to those experts and, crucially, to the voices of local communities who consistently make clear they want to see more Gardaí available on the ground.   

"While new to Ireland, this model is the norm in other countries and I am confident that the new structure will serve Ireland well and lead to a more agile and responsive police service improving safety for our local communities nationwide,” he said.