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Bigger emphasis on community policing

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019 4:51pm

Changes are afoot for gardaí as a complete overhaul of Cork city’s policing model is on the way.

One of the main changes will see a bigger emphasis on community policing with the number of sergeants and gardaí set to double in this new strategy, which aims to increase garda visibility in communities.

There are currently two sergeants and 18 gardaí dedicated to community policing in the Cork City Garda Division but interviews have been completed and a further two sergeants and 22 gardaí will join this division.

This was confirmed by Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin at a Cork City Joint Policing Committee meeting in City Hall on Monday.

Speaking about the enhanced focus on community policing, Superintendent Charlie Barry said: “If community policing is to succeed, it must be an independent unit. It will give us the opportunity to deal with issues across the city. It means that if there’s an issue in Douglas, for example, we will be able to saturate the area for one, two or three nights to deal with the problem without interfering with normal operations.

“Then if there’s a problem in the Glen the week after, we can tackle it so it’ll give us the flexibility to deal with issues that arise.

“It’s not just one or two young people, it’s hundreds that are out there. They are drinking in fields and using social media to arrange to meet in big numbers.”

This new divisional policing model is being piloted in Cork city as well as the Dublin Metropolitan Region South Central, Mayo and Galway.

Chief Superintendent McPolin said: “This is an exciting time for us. It’s a pilot scheme and will be under constant review over the next six, nine and 12 months. “There will be no change to the number of garda stations across divisions. We will increase the number of gardaí involved in front line policing and there will be increased visible garda presence in the communities.”

Another change will see Superintendent Michael Comyns now head up a specialised crime unit which will focus on large scale drug dealing, organised crime and serious fraud.

The new pilot model will also, for the first time, see a dedicated event management unit under roads policing for big concerts and event.

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