New bureau supports and advises in sex crime cases
The Garda National Protection Services Bureau (GNPSB) was established earlier this year in a major shake-up of the force announced by Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.
The bureau replaced the former Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit (DVSAIU), which was part of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Originally, the DVSAIU was headed by a detective superintendent, but the new unit has been converted and enlarged into a new specialist stand-alone bureau headed by a detective chief superintendent, three detective superintendents and two detective inspectors.
All the officers assigned to the GNPSB are specially trained for the role, which also involves the sensitive process of interviewing young children who have been the victims of sexual and physical abuse.
The unit, which strangely does not yet feature on the garda website, provides advice, guidance and assistance to gardaí across the country who are involved in the investigation of sex crimes, domestic violence and human exploitation.
Detectives in the new bureau also work closely with specialist units in other international police agencies, as well as Interpol and Europol, which are involved in the tracing and identification of users of online child pornography. It also has overall responsibility for the monitoring of sex offenders and the investigation of all major sexual abuse crimes in the country.
Commissioner O'Sullivan established the new bureau in recognition of the need for the force to have a single, specialised bureau to deal with the whole area of sex crimes, domestic violence and the trafficking of people for use in prostitution.
Last month, the unit led in the arrest of a British man convicted of making and possessing indecent images of children.
Julian Myerscough, from Bolton, had absconded before he was convicted of a similar charge at Ipswich Crown Court. He was later extradited to the UK where he reappeared before the court. This was the second "on-the-run" sex offender apprehended in recent months.ing to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office, sexual offences increased overall by 3.3pc during the 12 months up to the end of June this year including an increase of 6.7pc in rapes and 6.5pc in sexual assaults.