Four-year plan for policing announced

Four-year plan for policing announced

The Government has announced a new four-year high-level plan for policing.

The strategy contains all 157 recommendations from the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.

Some non-core duties will be taken off gardaí to ensure members are free for essential duties.

The Garda Commissioner will act as CEO of the organisation and a new independent oversight body will replace both the Policing Authority and Garda Síochána Inspectorate.

A Strategic Threat Analysis Centre is being set up for intelligence, along with a National Security Coordinator.

Work is also beginning to introduce body cameras for gardaí.

"Following an extensive root and branch analysis of policing in its totality by the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, the Government has now endorsed the Commission’s clear vision for a modern, highly professional, human-rights-based police service," said Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan.

The core focus is on a Garda organisation working closely and collaboratively with communities and other agencies to keep communities safe and to prevent harm to vulnerable people.

"I am convinced this is the right vision for Ireland to maintain and enhance public trust in policing, to address current challenges but also enable An Garda Síochána to meet future challenges.

"Almost a century after its establishment, the organisation of An Garda Síochána must evolve, and do so in a coherent and strategic manner, to meet the issues confronting 21st Century policing - this plan sets out the blueprint for change."

Four-year plan for policing announced

Noting the publication of the plan, the Garda Inspectorate emphasised the need to carry out unannounced inspection visits

"Independent inspection is an essential component of police oversight, both in terms of assessing police efficiency and effectiveness as well as contributing to public trust and confidence in policing.

"However, it will be important that the new body has the power to carry out unannounced inspection visits, as previously requested by the Inspectorate.

"The Inspectorate looks forward to contributing to the implementation process and the design of the new organisation’s mandate in consultation with the Department of Justice and Equality and the Implementation Group on Policing Reform."

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has welcomed the publication but calls for human rights to be a focus in every aspect of Garda reform.

"Human rights must be embedded in every aspect of the government’s plan for reform," said ICCL Executive Director Liam Herrick.

We must learn from previous experience where good human rights work within An Garda Síochána failed to permeate the organisation.

"A strong human rights focus will be required in the Implementation Programme Office in the Department of the Taoiseach, and in all of the bodies responsible for reform – not siloed in one Garda office."

Read the submission in full here:

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