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Question

241. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the training members of An Garda Síochána receive in relation to identifying cases of coercive control; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10843/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the training of its members and civilian staff and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
The recently commenced Domestic Violence Act significantly strengthens   the civil and legal protections available to victims. The offence of coercive control recognises that domestic violence is more than physical as  it can also involve emotional abuse, humiliation or intimidation.
I am advised by the Commissioner that on the 19 February 2018 and the 26 February 2019 training was provided at Templemore Garda College to members of the Divisional Protective Services Units and Inspectors with the Domestic Abuse portfolio by Dr. Jane Monckton Smith, University of Glouchestershire, in relation to Domestic Homicide and their link to coercive control.  This was part of a three day domestic abuse modular training programme for DPSUs and Domestic Abuse Inspectors that took place in the Garda College from 19/21 February 2019 and 26/28 of February 2019.  
 I am further advised that in terms of training and awareness, members of an Garda Síochána   are currently undergoing train-the-trainer training in the area of coercive  control which will aid in the creation and delivery of organisational  training. In addition training lectures are being delivered to Probationer Gardaí at  the Garda College in Templemore by members of the Garda National Protective   Services Bureau, prior to their postings. These presentations cover all  aspects of domestic abuse and the key aspects of the new Domestic Violence Act, including coercive control, will be added to same. This means that every new member leaving the Garda College for their permanent stations will be familiar with the new Act.