An Garda Síochána has today announced the first five Divisions where its new Operating Model will be implemented.
They are: Galway, Cork city, Dublin South Central, Meath/Westmeath, and Limerick.
They were chosen because:
- Cork City, DMR South Central and Galway had run pilots of the local policing model
- Limerick is a large division that is already at the desired scale for the new Operating Model
- The merger of Meath / Westmeath will enable the model to be used to provide a wider range of policing services to communities in the area
Before changes are made at a Divisional level, change impact assessments will be conducted at a local level to ascertain what needs to be done to enable implementation.
The first major changes under the new Garda Operating Model came into effect on Monday, October 7 with the reduction in the Garda regions from six to four.
An Garda Síochána has previously stated that the introduction of the Operating Model at Divisional level will be done on phased basis.
Commissioner Harris has also previously commented that border Divisions will remain unchanged until there is clarity on Brexit.
An Garda Síochána has committed to ensuring Superintendents will be in locations throughout a Division and not all located in the Divisional Headquarters.
An Garda Síochána has also said that every effort will be made to minimise disruption to personnel.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: "These changes will see us deliver a more responsive, more efficient and better service to local communities.
It will mean increased numbers of Gardaí working on the frontline, better investigations of crimes against the vulnerable such as sexual crime, and community policing teams dedicated to working with communities to identify and tackle problem crimes in their area.
The quicker we can make these changes at Divisional level, the quicker we can deliver these improvements to communities.”
Under the Garda Operating Model, Divisions will increase in size, will be operationally autonomous, and will be the key to policing delivery.
A Division will be typically made up of around 600 to 800 personnel. This will ensure each Division has the resources and skills to deliver a wider range of community policing and specialist services based on the demand in their area.
There will be better investigative services locally as Divisions will have a wider range of specialist skills and expertise such as Protective Services, Economic Crime and Cyber Crime.
Regions and divisions will have greater control over how policing is delivered, while working to a corporate framework and oversight from the centre. The focus of the centre will be on supporting regions and divisions.
The Operating Model is a key initiative being delivered by An Garda Síochána under A Policing Service for the Future.