The Policing Authority welcomes today’s announcement from the Garda Síochána that four new Divisional Protective Services Units are going live.
Establishing Protective Services Units in three Garda Divisions is a key objective in the 2017 Policing Plan approved by the Authority. The Protective Service Units are intended to provide a consistent, dedicated and professional service to victims of specialised crime including sexual crime, human trafficking, child abuse and domestic abuse. It is vital that such crimes are addressed in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Having dedicated and specialist teams working in these units and collaborating with the Child and Family Agency Tusla, will allow for a thorough investigation of the crime as well as professional support for vulnerable victims. Progress on this project is important and essential, not only in terms of the service it will provide but also that is it an enabler project for the larger shift by the Garda Síochána to a model of functional policing.
The Authority’s recent report to the Tánaiste assessing progress by the Garda Síochána in its reform and modernisation work indicated that this project was not proceeding as quickly as the Gardaí had hoped. It is therefore very encouraging to hear today’s announcement that four units are going live today. The Authority welcomes the progress made in recent weeks and wishes the staff of the Protected Service Units well with their sensitive and critically important work. It will continue to monitor the roll out of this project to other Garda Divisions which is expected to conclude early next year.