[Sinn Fein]

26th February 2003

Independent Community Policing Boards needed to address ineffective deployment and to improve accountability of Gardaí - Ó Snodaigh

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Justice Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for the creation of independent Community Policing Boards to increase the effectiveness of existing Garda deployment, together with significant social investment to tackle the underlying causes of crime in an ``integrated approach'' to crime prevention.

Speaking to a Fine Gael Private Members' Motion in the Dáil, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``The solution to anti-social crime is a lot more complicated than Fine Gael would suggest, or the Government admit. Putting more Gardaí on the streets is easy, but it's not enough. I am not at all convinced that such Garda resources as do exist presently are being used to best effect. I submit that the real issues here are the need for more effective deployment and community accountability of existing Gardaí. Sinn Fein want the opportunity to debate the full basket of measures needed in this state, including the creation of independent Community Policing Boards as a proper community accountability mechanism. This would ensure that Garda resources are properly deployed where and how they are needed most. 

``The truth is that we cannot settle for a mere 2,000 extra Gardaí, when what we really need is a war on the underlying causes of crime, on poverty and on inequality. Only significant social investment will make this happen. This requires a totally different set of priorities than those pursued by this Government, or proposed by Fine Gael. What we should be debating is a fully integrated approach to crime prevention. This approach may not be politically popular, but I care less about political expedience than about which measures and social supports will actually deliver the real security our communities deserve.'' ENDS

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