The Garda Inspectorate has launched an inspection into Garda efforts to combat corruption within the organisation.
The examination is forming part of a wide-ranging work programme for the body over the next three years with other examinations including: policing Ireland's borders; responding to domestic abuse and the handling of bail cases.
The Garda Counter Corruption Practices inspection is not directly connected to internal events ongoing in the force, including a high-profile Garda corruption probe, which has seen the arrest of four gardaí. It is the first inspection which the inspectorate has itself initiated after its powers were extended. Previously, inspections were on foot of requests from the Minister for Justice and, more recently, the Policing Authority.
In a statement, the inspectorate said the probe will focus on “the effectiveness of the Garda Síochána at preventing, detecting and mitigating against internal corruption”.
We have commenced our first self-initiated inspection examining counter corruption practices within the Garda Síochána. This will focus on the effectiveness of the Garda Síochána at preventing, detecting and mitigating against internal corruption. https://t.co/YnRlbY6n8V— Garda Inspectorate (@GSINSP) June 14, 2019
It said the inspectorate would test Garda measures against international standards.
The inspectorate said it will be using the commonly accepted definition of corruption, which is used by a number of government agencies, which states that corruption is “an abuse of a position of trust in order to gain an undue advantage”. The inspection is being headed up by Deputy Chief Inspector Hugh Hume and is due to be completed by the end of this year.
Chief Inspector Mark Toland said: “While there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of Garda members and staff are honest, professional and committed to the values outlined in the Garda Code of Ethics, the inspection will provide an independent forward-looking report on the effectiveness of the Garda Síochána at preventing, detecting and mitigating against internal corruption.”
He said this will complement the work of the Garda Commissioner in putting in place the processes to prevent and tackle corruption within the organisation.
Last May, Commissioner Drew Harris announced that a new anti-corruption unit would be established by the end of the year.
A Garda spokesman said: "In developing its plan for this unit, An Garda Síochána has liaised closely with a number of police services with these kinds of units such as the Met Police and PSNI. An Garda Síochána will fully engage with the Garda Inspectorate on its inspection and take on board any lessons to be learnt."
An inspection into public order policing, which is now completed and being presented to the Policing Authority this month;
- Press Association