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Brexit uncertainty puts police reforms on holdNew Page

19 Sep 2019 / policing Print

Brexit uncertainty puts police reforms on hold

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told the Dáil Justice Committee yesterday that his force is Brexit-ready even though the nature of Brexit remains unclear.

Border division re-organisation under the new policing plan will be put on hold in light of the uncertainty, he said.

'Burdensome' structure

The plan included measures to reduce the border divisions from four to two. He agreed that the current organisational structure is “burdensome” and impedes service delivery by gardaí.

The new model will see improved outcomes for crime victims and a community-based approach, he said.

The new operational model for the gardai was launched in August.

Commissioner Harris said he envisaged continued co-operation with the PSNI on cross-border smuggling and rural and organised crime.

He revealed that there has been an increase in dissident republican activity with six national security attacks in the North this year.

Organised crime

Harris spoke of his concerns about EU organised crime and arrest warrant treaties post-Brexit, and that these could eventually be subject to greater complexities.

Commissioner Harris said there are 30 gardaí readied for the new border Armed Support Unit in Cavan.

Gardaí have been newly-assigned to stations in Tipperary and Kilkenny long without a presence. Six shuttered stations have also been reopened under his watch.

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