Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Garda Reserve Force

I have been meaning to write about this for a while now so enjoy. One of McDowell new babies is the Garda Reserve. One this island for many reserve police forces conjures up images of the B specials in the North. However the only comparison that can be made between them is that they both were called reserves. In the south we don’t yet have the same divided society yet. However looking at the riots in France it may come divided. So like the pervious measures brought out about removing the Irish language as a pre-requisite to joining the Gardai this can help to insure that Gardaí reflect the community.

For instance if Gardaí go to deal with a call in a minority house. If someone can accompany them that speaks the language and has standing in that community. The Gardaí’s job will be a lot easier. This is only one reason for this. Other reasons are that a reserve force could relieve the Gardaí from tasks such as issuing passports, handling radio systems and other tasks that don’t require the training the Gardaí receive in Templemore. This could allow more Gardaí do be deployed in proper tasks such as being on the beat.

However this can not be the solution to the lack of Gardai this does not reduce the need for more fully trained Gardaí being produced from Templemore. Fianna Fail promised 2000 new Gardai this cannot be used to fulfil this promise.

The persons that are allowed to join this force have to be well vetted not just to see if they are not criminals but also they will not abuse their power. Such as pulling the guy in the office they don’t like for speeding when he has not been.

But there are many questions to be answered. Here is the top 5 I can think of.

1. If these people don’t have the same training as Gardaí should they have the same powers of arrest.?

2. In the new Justice bill the right to on the spot fining is to be given to the Gardai should this be also given to reserve Gardai.?

3. Would the fining system then be open to abuse.? Bribing and the like

4. Should they be allowed to go on the beat and have the same authority as a Garda.?

5. Will the IRA attempt to infiltrate it. ?

These things need to be investigated fully before implementation. Neither can it be used as community policing. Small villages need a fully trained presence. Now more then ever. Villages are suffering from the same drug and crimes that cities are. As seen by the Nally case people living in the country are living in fear. They are going to become vigilantes as there is no police force to protect them. The creation of a reserve force may give this activity validity. But will it make these groups refrain from working outside legal means? The Nally case is a tragedy for both parties. The cause of this was that Mr Nally did not feel safe in his own home. He did not feel that if he dialled 999 he would be safe. If he went to his local Garda station it would be empty. (like mine in a town of about 1000) Thus he took the law into his own hands. This will not be the last case. Mr McDowell needs to act and stop pussyfooting around. We need more fully trained Gardai in training now. A reserve force while a good idea is a minor part in what is needed.

But the biggest question is in an apathetic country like Ireland. Would anyone be bothered to join a volunteer non-paying Garda force.


Cian said...

Your right, these wonderful ideas are just that, wonderful ideas. The problem with most legislation of this kind is that it requires an engaged population to work with it.
Legislation in a vacuum is dead.
I agree with your doubts though i reckon they could be overcome, still it doesnt hide the real and serious need for decent community policing, all over the country.
Its not some fancy buzz-word but a necessity for keeping a lid on local problems and keeping people safe. Thats the job of the state last time i looked.

Anonymous said...

your fifth question is answered by your last sentence!

Anonymous said...

Well its on its way in now. I have to say i will be going for it. The more the better as a larger force will help decrease all the anti-social behaviour in this state.

Anonymous said...

Well I think that this force needs to be paid, for the work and the hours that they will be doing. I meen who will work for this new force for nothing?......

The Cordon Bleu Line said...

Well there has already been a graduation and all is going well. I think the arrogance of the first commentator is ridiculous! There are plenty signing up to this non payed force and is a brilliant stepping stone for any wannabie Gardai!!!