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Order of Business

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Like Senator Ivana Bacik, I also call for a debate with the Minister for Justice and Equality. The Minister stated today that she welcomed the resumption of publication of the recorded crime statistics. We should have a full debate on that issue. As the Minister stated, it is vital that we have access to accurate information and reliable data on crime. I welcome her statement that the work of both the CSO and the Garda Inspectorate has identified common issues of concern in relation to the crime. She went on to state that technology has failed to keep up with the demands of policing in a modern society and that she will be announcing new improvements in technology. It is very difficult for gardaí to do their work if the technology and recording systems with which they are provided are not up to scratch. Sometimes one cannot even send an e-mail to a garda. All gardaí should have hand-held devices where everything is recorded there and then. There should also be a back-up system in place. Restaurants have such a system so why can the Garda not have it? Technology has failed the Garda. That is the message I want to get across. That issue should be included in the debate as well as the crime statistics. The recording of statistics is now done on computer but if one has to write the information on paper and then record it on computer, it defeats the purpose.
I wish to raise another issue which was raised by a councillor in Galway recently, namely, that a garda who goes on maternity leave is not replaced. Teachers on maternity leave are replaced and there is a rota system in place for teachers. However, when a garda goes on maternity leave, the other gardaí in the unit have to pick up the slack. I have some statistics. By the end of the year, one garda in three will be female. As we all know, men do not have babies-----