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Divisional Protective Services Units will ensure victims of crime are supported during investigation process – Carroll Mac Neill

30th September 2020 - Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD

The nationwide rollout of Garda Divisional Protective Services Units will ensure victims of domestic and sexual violence are adequately supported when they present to authorities, Fine Gael TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill has said.

The Divisional Protective Services Units, which have now been rolled out in all Garda divisions, will support the delivery of a consistent and professional approach to the investigation of sexual and domestic crime.

Deputy Carroll MacNeill said, “The dedicated nature of these units means quick access to a sensitively trained and highly informed groups of Gardai for victims of domestic and sexual violence.

“It will mean that victims may present at any time, looking for safety. Staff who are assigned to DPSUs have been provided with a specialised training course consisting of a number of modules addressing issues such as: investigation of sexual crime; child protection; investigation of domestic abuse; online child exploitation and sex offender management.

“My colleague, Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, had indicated that the rollout of the units should be completed by the end of September following the publication of the O’Malley Review of Protections for Vulnerable Witnesses in the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Offences in August.

“The Minister has now confirmed that Divisional Protective Services Units have now been rolled out in all Garda divisions following a meeting with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

“Worryingly during the lockdown period, there has been a sharp rise in reported incidents of domestic violence as women and their partners remain at home more and we need to ensure that everything is done to prevent this abuse.

“That is why Divisional Protective Services Units are so crucial in support of victims coming forward at a most distressing and vulnerable time in their lives and I thank Minister McEntee for her commitment to tackling domestic, sexual and gender based violence,” Deputy Carroll MacNeill concluded.

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