The Irish government is commited to providing adequate resources to tackle the continuing republican paramilitary threat. The Garda Commissioner agrees with the assessment of the Home Secretary, Theresa May, that that threat has increased.
And with the research telling us “that concepts of the renegade groups as something ‘other’ are too simplistic”, the BBC’s Vincent Kearney reports that the PSNI Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, has been lobbying for access to “more than £200m of special funding from the treasury reserve during the next five years.”
From the BBC’s Vincent Kearney
My understanding is that the PSNI has said it can and will make efficiency savings, but the chief constable has also lobbied for access to more than £200m of special funding from the treasury reserve during the next five years to be used if he feels it is needed to combat the dissident threat.
The money would be used to improve the technology available for countering terrorism, to increase the amount of air support, and to recruit additional officers for close protection duties and guarding police stations.
The chief constable has pressed his case for access to additional funding in meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron in London, and in talks with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Home Secretary Teresa May, during visits to Northern Ireland this month.
The talks with the home secretary took place just days after she warned that the threat of a terrorist attack in Britain by dissident republicans had risen from moderate to substantial, meaning an attack is now regarded as a “strong possibility”.
The police said they need access to additional funding to ensure they can contain and eventually reduce the threat.