· Garda numbers now stand at over 14,400 and Garda staff at almost 3,000
· Minister commends An Garda Síochána’s improved service delivery to victims of crime
· Launch of new Victims Charter on eve of European Day for Victims of Crime
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, TD, has today welcomed 201 new members to An Garda Síochána following their attestation at the Garda Training College, Templemore.
Minister Flanagan congratulated the 201 new recruits which will now be deployed to serve communities all around the country. He also welcomed the increasing diversity or the organisation.
Today’s ceremony brings to 3,200 the number of new Gardaí that have attested and been assigned to frontline policing duties since the reopening of the Garda Training College in 2014. The re-organisation of Garda structures, through the new operating model, is also assisting in freeing up additional resources for frontline Gardaí.
Minister Flanagan emphasised:
“This is taking place alongside the ongoing programme of Garda recruitment and civilianisation….Civilianisation has seen Garda staff numbers rise by over 47% since the end of 2016 to a total of almost 3,000 today”.
The Minister noted both legal reforms and Garda initiatives underway that are ensuring a more victim centred approach in the criminal justice system. Speaking on the eve of European Day for Victims of Crime, Minister Flanagan welcomed the new Victims Charter, which he launched earlier this morning.
“The Charter, which details the service and supports offered by the State and voluntary groups who work with victims of crime, can be found at the dedicated website victimscharter.ie. It also describes the criminal justice system from the perspective of a victim of crime and explains what they can expect when interacting with it.”
Minister Flanagan also welcomed the steps taken by An Garda Síochána to respond to the needs of victims. These include the establishment of Garda Victim Support Offices in all Garda divisions, staffed by specially trained personnel responsible for ensuring that victims of crime are kept informed as their case progresses through the criminal justice system. The Minister also highlighted the continuing roll-out of Divisional Protective Services Units across the country.
Concluding his remarks, the Minister reminded the probationers that:
“…effective policing depends on securing the confidence, support and cooperation of communities. Gardaí have always worked with the most vulnerable in our society – through the caring and supportive delivery of community policing; and in dealing sensitively with victims of crime. This is a proud tradition that I have no doubt you will adopt as your own.”