Saturday, December 17, 2005


All-Ireland policing needed!

Smashing organised crime, drugs and defeating terrorism are the top policing priorities set out by the Government for next year.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell said gardaí should bring the gun culture under control and crack down on illegal drugs as a matter of priority.

Other areas set out in the Government Policing Priorities included developing a voluntary reserve garda force, relieving gardaí of administrative duties, preventing rural crime as well as tackling illegal immigration and trafficking of people.

"The Government’s priorities for 2006 highlight some issues of great concern in the area of crime and public safety while building on the considerable progress made by the Gardaí in recent years," Mr McDowell said.

Mr McDowell said funding of €1.3bn would ensure gardaí would be able to move towards achieving the priorities set out.

Under the Garda Siochana Act 2005, the Justice Minister can set priorities for the force and require the Garda Commission to prepare an annual policing plan taking account of the Government’s priorities.

Mr McDowell said the gardaí should primarily focus on targeting organised crime, including drug trafficking, and work to bring the gun culture under control. The priorities stressed emphasis should be placed on combating paramilitary activities, seizing the assets of unlawful organisations and cooperation with all relevant international bodies in fighting terrorism.

Not bad Minister, not bad! But I feel you left out an important priority - forging increased links with the PSNI with a view towards an all-Ireland police service.

Let's face facts. The PSNI has been a failure. Unionists have expressed anger with it and only a few short months ago, relations with the Orange Order and the PSNI reached a low ebb due to the Orange Order and loyalist paramilitaries rioting on the streets of Ireland's north. As for nationalists, many of them still do not support the police service and in light of yesterday's news that Sinn Féin have had a British agent in their ranks, as well as the whole 'Stormontgate' fiasco in general, confidence in the police service from a nationalist perspective is shaky to say the least.

So let's start anew. Let's do what the British Labour party in the 1980s advocated for Ireland - an all-Ireland police force.

It would be a chance to have a service that the people trust and it would be a chance to tackle paramilitaries as a united force.

Let's go for it.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

© 2008 United Irelander.