I very much welcome the roll-out of the new operating model of An Garda Síochána, announced last month by the Garda Commissioner, Mr. Drew Harris. It meets a key commitment in the implementation plan, following publication last year of the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.
This model has been long recommended by independent policing specialists, including the Garda Síochána Inspectorate, the Policing Authority and the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. While new to Ireland, the model is the norm in other countries and I am confident the new structure will lead to a more responsive policing service nationwide.
In developing the plan, the Garda Commissioner has listened carefully to policing experts as well as to the voices of local communities who have consistently made clear they want to see more gardaí on the ground. Reflecting this, the new model is specifically designed to provide a more positive responsive in respect of localised policing service to communities.