The establishment by the Garda Commissioner of Divisional Protective Services Units are one of the actions outlined in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
Under the existing Garda reform programme, divisional units of Garda National Protective Services Bureau are being rolled-out in two phases. The Bureau and its divisional units are tasked with improving services to victims, improving the investigation of sexual and domestic violence incidents, and identifying and managing risk.
As the Deputy will be aware, Phase One of this rollout is completed, with Divisional Units established in three areas - DMR West, Cork City, and Louth Division.
Following an evaluation of the pilot, the next phase is due to see an additional six Divisional Bureaus established in DMR South Central; Waterford; Kerry; Kilkenny/Carlow; Limerick and Galway Garda Divisions before the end of Q4, 2018 with the objective of extending them to all remaining Garda Divisions before the end of 2019.
I have sought assurances that this objective is on track, and have been informed by An Garda Síochána of the following updates in relation to those Divisional Units due to be established in 2018:
- A selection competition is currently underway for the purpose of selecting personnel who are to be assigned to Divisional Protective Service Units (DPSUs) which are being established in six (6) particular Garda Síochána divisions, namely, DMR South Central, Waterford, Carlow/Kilkenny, Limerick, Kerry and Galway.
- Accommodation to be allocated to these Divisional PSUs has been identified and any refurbishments deemed necessary to be carried out, in advance of occupation by the personnel concerned, is in progress.
- Arrangements are in place to ensure necessary office equipment, including furniture and IT related equipment, will be available in respect of the offices which will be allocated to the said six (6) units.
- Vehicles which will be used by personnel assigned to the additional DPSUs will be made available from within the pool of vehicles allocated to the relevant divisions.