Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly TD, has today called for the new Garda control centre system to “put community service first” and “not compromise the strengths of local Garda stations”.
Teachta Daly said:
“Traditionally, people are used to calling up their local Garda station and getting a sympathetic ear and someone with local knowledge. Under the new Computer Aided Dispatch II (CADII) system, calls are now routed to a centralised control facility.
“For calls in County Kerry, calls are now handled through Cork City. I have heard from constituents of a number of incidents where they phoned a local station, only to be put through to the centre.
“These were constituents in rural areas in Kerry, where local knowledge is absolutely key and the service in these instances left something to be desired. Response times were long and these constituents were left frustrated.
“Sinn Féin believe in reform of our policing service. The use and application of technology to maximise resources and increase efficiencies absolutely must be a part of that.
“However, there are some traditional strengths within local stations. Trust has been built up over time between Gardaí stationed locally and the community there.
“Time for the new system to bed in will be crucial, but community service must be at the heart of these new processes.”