Review of Garda Reserves to examine independent patrolling

ireland
Review Of Garda Reserves To Examine Independent Patrolling Review Of Garda Reserves To Examine Independent Patrolling
The moves are included in the Garda Reserve Strategy 2021-2025, which was published in a section of the Garda website and marks the culmination of a process spanning three years.
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Digital Desk Staff

The troubled Garda Reserve is set for a major revamp, with Garda HQ examining how reserve volunteers can operate on their own, without having to be accompanied by a sworn garda.

As the Irish Examiner reports, a review is also set to be carried out into what powers the part-time reservists should have.

The moves are included in the Garda Reserve Strategy 2021-2025, which was published in a section of the Garda website and marks the culmination of a process spanning three years.

The report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, published in September 2018, recommended further recruitment into the reserve be paused pending a comprehensive strategic review.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris agreed, despite plans published by the government the previous year to treble the size of the reserve to 2,000 by 2021, along with a target Garda strength of 15,000.

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Garda Reserve numbers stood at 953 in 2015, though sources said many were not available to work. The number fell to 589 by 2017 and currently stands at 447.

Current garda numbers, at 14,369, are at their lowest since January 2020.

With Budget 2022 funding 800 garda recruits next year, Mr Harris said numbers should reach 14,600 by the end of 2022.

In the strategy foreword, Mr Harris said: "Through this strategy, An Garda Síochána will ensure that Reserve Gardai perform their duty as valued members of dedicated community policing or regular units to deliver proactive, high visibility policing which contributes to keeping people safe.”

The report said current policy states that all duties by reserve gardaí “must be” in the company of a full-time garda and that “no reserve garda can perform independent patrolling”.

The strategy proposes to undertake an examination of the requirements for independent patrolling:

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