THE appointment of seven new gardaí to the newly created Roads Policing Unit in the Cork West Division will lead to more garda visibility on our roads, while also targeting criminals who use the road network, according to Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan, divisional officer for Cork West Garda Division.
The Cork West Division is the only one out of the three garda divisions in Cork to get new members to this unit, with four based at Bandon Garda Station and three at Crookstown Garda Station.
‘These appointments are welcomed. It means that the Roads Policing Unit will not only be watching for road traffic offences but they will be watching for criminality too and the public will certainly see more garda visibility on our roads,’ Chief Supt Cadogan told The Southern Star.
‘We received a new 4x4 Ford Ranger at Bandon Garda Station, which in light of recent weather events is very much welcomed so we will be able to respond to emergencies in poor weather. This vehicle will be based in Bandon and I’m hopeful of getting another one for Macroom Garda Station. Modern technology also has a part to play and our new 4X4 jeep will be using ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) which can track vehicles that may be involved in crime.’
Formerly known as the Traffic Corps, the Roads Policing Units has seen 87 new members join it following induction training and have been deployed to units across the country. That figure will increase to 150 following the additional appointment of 63 more members in October, bringing the total number of gardaí in Roads Policing to over 700 with further appointments to be made over the next three years.
Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey, who met with newly appointed members of this new unit in Nenagh last week, emphasised the importance of the role these members will play in making our roads and communities safer and protecting road users from the risk of death and serious injury.
‘A key element of the work of the news Roads Policing Unit will be to deny criminals the use of the roads network and there will be a significance focus on crime prevention and crime detections. Roads Policing will now work closely with crime units to target known criminals and to disrupt their activities through strict enforcement of road traffic legislation,’ said Deputy Comm Twomey.