Thursday, 23 June 2005
Garda Síochána Bill 2004 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.
Jim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
I move amendment No. 24:
In page 11, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:
"(3) In achieving its objectives and performing its functions, the Gardaí shall have available to it modern and effective communications systems and leading edge technology for the recording of crime and the collation of data.".
I always held the view that the Garda Síochána should be the best police force in the world. Some of our painstaking efforts on this Bill are to lay the legislative basis for that. We have to look beyond bare legislation from the point of view of how best to achieve the desired outcome. It would be useful to highlight the fact that we cannot expect our police force to be the best in the world without providing the Garda with the most modern and effective communications systems and leading edge technologies for recording crime and collating data. This objective is shared by everybody in this House. Establishing this in legislation would reinforce the commitment to achieve that objective and provide the necessary resources to do so.
It would also instill the extra confidence which the Garda Síochána needs at present. Gardaí would realise that, while we set and demand high standards and results of them, we are prepared to support our approach with a commitment, underpinned by legislation, to provide the best resources and, in particular, modern technology so as to enable them achieve these results. This is my thinking on this matter. There is nothing dramatic about it. If gardaí felt that this message was coming from Leinster House, it could have a positive influence on morale.