Six garda stations to be reopened in new trial
Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30
Six of the garda stations shut amid great controversy in 2012 will be immediately reopened on a trial basis as part of a major policing review the new government agreement pledges.
The new Policing Authority is to oversee a policing review, which aims to ensure "visible, effective and responsive policing in every community".
It will include an assessment of the most minimal response times possible through assessing the current garda district boundaries and the location of garda stations.
The trial reopening of the six stations in both urban and rural areas is to assess their impact on fighting crime, especially burglaries, theft and public order.
The closure of more than 112 garda stations was announced four years ago and most have since been shut down.
The draft programme for government pledges to continue the accelerated recruitment programme of 1,150 gardaí, including 600 new members this year, building to a strength of 15,000 officers. It also promises to double the garda reserve, which will be deployed on local patrols and crime reduction initiatives, while also hiring more civilians for clerical duties.
There is also to be increased investment in CCTV at key locations along the roads network as well as in urban areas.
The Proceeds of Crime legislation is to be reviewed and the Criminal Assets Bureau's resources to be strengthened.
There is a pledge to transfer the criminal legal aid scheme to the Legal Aid Board and empower it to make criminals bear some of their defence costs.
The new government aims to enforce more rigorous means-testing for legal aid.
Other plans include tougher bail conditions for serious repeat offenders and the possibility of electronically tagging some people on bail.
It aims to implement the EU Victims of Crime Directive and strengthen supports for crime victims. Procedures for independent appointment of judges will be overhauled.