Monday 24 July 2017

More resources needed to police the Border post-Brexit

Supt Noel Cunningham at the conference yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren
Supt Noel Cunningham at the conference yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

Robin Schiller

Senior gardaí have said more resources are needed to police the Border post-Brexit. Concerns have been raised about organised criminals who will "take advantage" of any change in the dynamics of the Irish Border once the UK exits the European Union.

This was stated by the president of the Association for Garda Superintendents at its annual delegate conference in Naas, Co Kildare, yesterday. Asked if Garda divisions along the Border will need more resources post-Brexit, Supt Noel Cunningham said: "The short answer is yes. There will be a whole change in the dynamic of policing in the Border.

"We don't know. I don't think anybody knows what's going to happen with Brexit - whether it will be a hard Border or will it be a soft Border and all of those will impact on us."

The senior Garda added that it was "essential" for the Border counties to be adequately resourced.

"The one thing you can be sure is that where there is a border there are criminal groups who will take advantage of that border and it is essential that we are properly resourced to do that job," he said.

Supt Cunningham went on to say that a change in the structure of policing has effectively reduced the frontline service by 20pc. Rank-and-file gardaí also recently expressed fears they could be targeted by terrorist groups and other criminals at checkpoints if a hard Border is implemented post-Brexit.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald also revealed at the conference that the dedicated armed Garda unit deployed in response to the deadly gangland feud in the capital is responding to almost three serious incidents every day. In a three month period they were called out to 248 serious incidents.

Irish Independent

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