Labour will make communities safer – Ó Ríordáin

13 February 2016

Earlier today, Minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin and Senator Lorraine Higgins launched Labour’s plan for community policing and reform of justice, ‘Standing Up for Safer Communities’.

Labour Senator Máiría Cahill was also in attendance and outlined the Labour Party’s proposals on domestic and sexual violence. The Labour Party’s plan will:

  • Recruit an additional 700 Gardaí each year to return the force to peak levels of over 14,500;
  • Free up a further 1,000 Gardaí for frontline duty by recruiting the same number of civilian staff to make sure our Gardaí are spending their time on the streets of our communities;
  • Put the Drugs Court on a statutory footing and expand its remit;
  • Legislate to improve the protections available to victims of domestic violence, most critically for those victims in crisis situations and will also make the courts process easier for victims of domestic violence;
  • Bring greater consistency to the sentences handed out to criminals by enacting new sentencing legislation;
  • Create a Garda Serious and Organised Crime Unit to tackle organised crime, cybercrime, serious fraud and suspicious financial transactions in both the public and private sector.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin added: “I believe that in light of recent events, it is imperative that we introduce measures to reduce the demand for drugs while simultaneously ensuring that the necessary medical supports are put in place for victims of drug abuse.

“Our plan is to introduce a new and comprehensive approach to dealing with drug addiction, putting the Drugs Court on a statutory footing and expanding its remit. We must also ensure that the resources of the criminal justice system are targeted at drug pushers and those that wish to damage our communities, not their victims.”

Senator Lorraine Higgins said: “People in all parts of Ireland, rural and urban, want to feel safe and they want to feel secure in their own homes. They want to be able to walk around their own areas without fear, and they want assurance that if there is an emergency situation, that members of An Garda Siochana are in a position to come to their assistance in a timely manner.

“I have always been of the view that we need more Gardai in rural areas. The reopening of the Garda College in Templemore in 2014, was a clear statement of intent by this government, that the process of downgrading of the force, started by the Fianna Fail government, would be reversed. We have funded recruitment of 1,150 new Gardai since September 2014, invested €29m in Garda vehicles and secured €60m for refu    rbishment and building of Garda stations at 30 different locations.

“Now we want to do more. Labour wants to recruit an additional 700 Gardaí each year to return the force to peak levels of over 14,500 for deployment in cities and towns, but also in rural areas.”


Link to ‘Making Communities Safer’:

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