Update: Future-of-policing report 'written for the benefit of the people', says Garda Commissioner

Update: Future-of-policing report 'written for the benefit of the people', says Garda Commissioner

Update - 3.52pm: The Garda Commissioner Drew Harris says the report on the future of policing in Ireland has been written for the benefit of the people of Ireland and will help to deliver better policing.

In a statement this afternoon, Commissioner Harris said the 50 recommendations outline significant cultural, staffing, structural and system changes for the next three to five years.

He also thanked the Chair, Kathleen O'Toole, and members of the Commission for the time and effort they put into the plan.

The Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, said "The Commission has approached policing from a fresh perspective and has redefined policing as a multi-disciplinary, cross agency effort built on the foundation of protecting human rights.

"Of particular note is its emphasis on understanding policing as including not only the prevention or detection of crime, but also the prevention of harm and protection of vulnerable people, and the implications of this for the whole of Government."

“The report makes many innovative proposals including strengthening our national security arrangements; greater powers for the Garda Commissioner to ensure more effective management of the Garda organisation, and strengthening and supporting the internal governance of the Garda organisation through the introduction of a Board.

"It also makes a number of recommendations on external oversight arrangements as well as on the Commissioner’s engagement with the Oireachtas."

The Minister said the recommendations will take time to implement and noted that the Commission suggested that the centenary of the establishment of An Garda Síochána in 2022 "would be an appropriate target for the transformation to be completed".

Earlier: Body cameras for gardaí among recommendations in future-of-policing report

A new report on the future of policing has recommended that there should be an independent complaints body instead of GSOC.

    The main recommendations for the reform of policing in Ireland are:

  • A new approach to policing and community safety, which will ensure police are more visible in communities, and can focus on preventing harm;
  • Measures to deliver a professional, ethical, modern and effective police service that is well-managed, cost-effective, properly trained and equipped;
  • A new coherent framework for the independent oversight of policing and community safety, with a clear mandate for effective scrutiny, which will promote professional standards of policing and ensure fully independent investigation of complaints;
  • A new framework for national security, headed by a National Security Coordinator, to pool intelligence and information and provide long-term threat assessments.

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland has made 50 recommendations to improve the force.

Among these are that there should be a new Strategic Threat Assessment Centre headed by a National Security Coordinator.

"An independent body, superseding GSOC, should be established, perhaps named the Independent Office of the Police Ombudsman (IOPO) to make clear that it is not part of An Garda Síochána," the report suggests.

"IOPO should receive all complaints about the police service, from whatever source."

It also recommends that gardaí should wear body cameras and that improvements should be made to technology.

"Modern policing organisations around the world have found that body cameras can help to improve front line capability with the accurate recording of incidents, expedite analysis, enhance situational awareness, and sometimes protect police from harm," the report says.

"Outdated and inefficient work processes should cease and technology should be used to best effect," it adds.

Working with communities, diversity and education are also areas that have been highlighted as needing attention.

Update: Future-of-policing report 'written for the benefit of the people', says Garda Commissioner

"We have spent over a year listening to the people of Ireland, and to the police, and the message was loud and clear," said Commission Chairperson Kathleen O'Toole.

Everyone wanted more Gardaí working in and with the community. They wanted a modern, well equipped, efficient and professional police service.

"It was also clear that the current arrangements for overseeing the police and investigating complaints are complex and confused.

"Our report addresses these fundamental issues."

Read the full report here:

Digital Desk

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