A new unit of the gardaí specifically for investigating crimes of sexual abuse and domestic violence launched in Galway today.
The Divisional Protective Services Units have been set up to provide dedicated and specially trained service for sensitive crimes involving sexual abuse, the abuse of children, or domestic abuse.
Six of these divisional units have been established at Galway, Dublin south central, Kerry, Kilkenny, Waterford and Limerick.
A statement from the Gardaí said the unit is coming into effect from today, but that the officers had begun their special training a week ago.
Their training on how to handle sexual abuse includes input from victims of abuse.
Four Garda divisions already had one of these special units, and it’s planned to roll then out in the remaining 19 divisions by year’s end.
These new units come into effect as the definition of domestic abuse under the law has been expanded to include psychological abuse and coercive control.
Their introduction is part of the process of reforming and modernising the gardaí which began in 2016.
Their responsibilities also include human trafficking and missing persons.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly of the National Protective Service said these new units will ensure the victims of abuse get consistent service from the Gardaí.