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New unit for serious crimes in West Cork

Thursday, 12th September, 2019 8:45am

A specialised garda unit will be up and running soon in West Cork to investigate serious crimes like rape and domestic violence.

Dunmanway Garda Station has been chosen to house the new Protective Services Unit (PSU) with a senior garda indicating that it should be operational by the end of this year.

Details about the new unit emerged at the Joint Policing Committee meeting in County Hall on Monday, with Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan who heads up the West Cork Garda Division, confirming that two detective sergeants as well as ten detective gardaí will be working from the new PSU. There will also be administration and support staff working at the new unit.

Chief Superintendent Cadogan said the new team of gardaí will be heading to the garda college in Templemore in the next two to three weeks to undergo training for such a specialised unit which will be dealing with sexual crimes and domestic violence.

He added: “We will be interacting with other statutory and voluntary agencies like Tusla and the West Cork Women Against Violence Project. It will be like a centre of excellence and it has to be welcomed.”

The West Cork Garda Division receives reports of about 100 sexual crimes every year, he said.

Chief Superintendent Cadogan explained that when an instance of domestic violence is reported, it is dealt with under the umbrella of assaults. Now, it will be dealt with by the specially trained new garda team.

“We can’t drop the ball when it comes to children either and we will be working very closely with Tusla. Specialists will be brought in if children have to be interviewed,” he said.

Gardaí are also hoping that this new unit will speed up investigations.

“It can be harrowing and traumatic for victims when investigations take a long time so this should help to speed them up,” he added.

Dunmanway Garda Station has been rebuilt in the past ten years and it will undergo “cosmetic renovations” to make it viable for the new unit including an open plan office and specialist interview rooms which have certain dimensions and equipment.

Dunmanway was selected, Chief Superintendent Cadogan said, because of its location.

He said: “Dunmanway is on a bus corridor to anywhere in West Cork. We have to take into account that many people may not have access to a car and the bus stop is just a few hundred yards from the front door of Dunmanway Garda Station.”

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