BREAKING: Kilkenny named HQ of new Eastern Garda Region
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY has been announced as the headquarters for the newly formed Eastern Garda Region and the new Regional Chief Superintendent will also be based in the city.
The Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, Drew Harris, made the announcement this afternoon as part of the new Garda Operating Model, the biggest shake-up in Irish policing since the foundation of the state.
Kilkenny will be the centre of the new region which contains, Wexford, Carlow, Wicklow, Waterford, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly and Laois.
Waterford will remain the headquarters of the new Kilkenny/Carlow/Waterford division.
Under the new Operating Model, the Regions will be reduced from six to four and the Garda Divisions from 28 to 19.
Commissioner Harris explained that a wide range of operational factors have been considered when deciding where the new Regional and Divisional Headquarters should be based. These factors included: population, geography, projected growth, crime trends and workload across a range of work streams.
“Our new Operating Model will see larger divisions with more resources. It will deliver increased Garda visibility in communities, as well more localised services. Resources will be strongly focused on community policing.
“Chief Superintendents and Superintendents will be empowered to make decisions on how policing is best delivered within their Divisions while working to a corporate framework. Superintendents will be located throughout the Divisions and will be supported by additional Sergeants and Inspectors.
“In addition, our new Operating Model will enhance the investigation of crime through the delivery of a greater range of specialised services in local areas such as the investigation of sexual crime, domestic violence, cyber-crime, and economic crime.
“Each Division will be provided with a Detective Superintendent who along with trained investigators in specialist areas will be responsible for local crime investigation. Complex or highly technical crimes will generally be dealt with at national level.”
The new Operating Model has already commenced with the amalgamation of regions and will be introduced into divisions on a phased basis. Divisions in the border region are unlikely to see any significant change until further clarity is available on Brexit.