Senior gardaí raise post-Brexit border policing issues

The association representing senior garda officers has warned that Brexit will necessitate a significant increase in the number of gardaí assigned to the border.

The Association of Garda Superintendents has said thatwith four times as many roads now open along the border compared to 20 years ago, policing was reduced and "crime corridors" have created new policing challenges.

Association President Superintendent Noel Cunningham will tell the AGS annual conference today that while cooperation with the PSNI was excellent, Brexit will create the need for a significant increase in gardaí along border counties.

He said garda numbers during the Troubles were at least three times the current figure, and that to restore that number from existing resources, would mean denuding the big urban centres and other divisions of gardaí.

SuptCunningham said it is vital that early planning and resourcing takes place to ensure the force isprepared for policing after Brexit.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Supt Cunningham said Brexit will have implications for "all the specialist units, it'll have implications for all the intelligence gathering units, it'll have implications right down across the country".

He added: "We don't want to be in the situation, where all of a suddenpeople have to be drawn, resources have to be drawn from places where they are already needed, up to the border to address an issue there.

"A bit of strategic planning, pre-thinking, pre-planning will make sure that the proper resources are in the proper places."

Policing post-Brexit, pay anomalies and investigating complaints for GSOC are the issues set to dominate the conference, which opens in Kildare later this morning.

SuptCunningham said current pay rates were a disincentive to officers seeking promotion, as in some cases garda inspectors are paid more than superintendents.

Superintendents say they are also concerned by the amount of their time taken up by investigating GSOC complaints, which also means the public does not get the independence it expects from those investigations.

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