New base for Garda Protective Services
The launch of the new dedicated Louth Gardai Divisional Protective Services Unit was held in Castlebellingham on Friday last.
Louth's Chief Supt. Christy Mangan officially launched the unit's new premises adjacent to Castlebellingham garda station.
A team of ten gardai and two Detective Sergeants are based at the newly refurbished offices.
Supt. Mangan explained the unit had been working from the base at Dundalk Garda Station, but has moved into the purpose built unit at Castlebellingham station.
The dedicated team would, he added 'provide a consistent and professional approach to the investigation of domestic and sexual crimes across the country.'
Dundalk was one of the first locations in the country when in 2017 the specialised Divisional Protective Services Unit (DPSU) was launched.
Supt. Mangan said the work of these units was focused on sexual crime, human trafficking, child abuse and domestic abuse. It will also focus on the provision of support for vulnerable victims of crime, including enhanced collaboration with the Child and Family Agency to safeguard children.
'Today marks a significant step forward in the provision of protective services for vulnerable people,' said Supt Mangan. He added that a 'huge amount of work has gone in over the last two years' in setting up the team and in the refurbishment of the building, which had previously been used as garda accommodation.
He acknowledged the efforts by the Office of Public Works in the delivery of the newly renovated premises. He added that the DPSU would provide for people who are victims of a range of crimes, including sexual, domestic or child abuse, prostitution, historical sex abuse and human trafficking 'the professional and consistent service from the Gardaí that they expect and deserve.'
The Chief Supt. said that Louth gardai have had dealt with investigations in the deaths of three women in recent times, including most recently the murder of a woman in Ardee. He added that these investigations 'present a disturbing picture of the way in which women are treated.'
And he offered reassurances to the victims of domestic violence that crimes of this nature are 'very, very high up on the list of priorities.'