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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 1 October 2020

Gardaí make domestic abuse 'a priority' in new policing plan

All domestic incidents will “get immediate response by working units”.

Image: /Photocall Ireland

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REPORTS are to be treated as a priority by gardaí in the capital’s north inner city under a new policing plan to tackle incidents in the home.

Under new plans, any domestic incident will “get immediate response by working units”. There will be consistent follow-ups by specialised gardaí to ensure the safety of those in the community.

According to the plans unveiled at the Joint Policing Committee in Dublin City Hall, there will be an increased presence on the back of awareness campaigns which were launched late last year.

Officers attending domestic violence calls will hand over details to officers with special training. They will look at every case “from a longer-term perspective, including continuing safety of individuals and support and assistance with ongoing issues”.

New plans

The action on domestic abuse is just one out of a number of new policies being adopted by An Garda Síochána in 2017.

More victim support services are to be rolled out this year with gardaí saying that “through the Divisional Victim Services Centre, victims will be treated in a manner which treats them with dignity and keeps them informed about the progress of cases relevant to them”.

There will be an increase in the number of garda attached to the community policing unit. There will also be increased training for gardaí to enable them to provide the proper support to those affected.

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Welcome development

Last year, the domestic violence bill came before cabinet. It will see a number of changes to the law which will help victims get away from their attackers.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) welcomed the bill. Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said: “We welcome the new measures to be introduced in the domestic violence bill.  NWCI welcome in particular the enhanced protection of and support for victims when they are going to court, the removal of the barrier of property ownership when applying for interim barring orders and the recognition of the new reality of online abuse.

The bill provides that a victim would be able to apply for an order to prevent the perpetrator from following or communicating with the victim, including by electronic means, other than for communications specified by the court, and this is a welcome development.

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