One in three middle-ranking gardaí 'not familiar at all' with reform blueprint

A third of middle-ranking gardaí say they don't know anything about the landmark blueprint to reform the policing service.

One in three middle-ranking gardaí 'not familiar at all' with reform blueprint

A third of middle-ranking gardaí say they don't know anything about the landmark blueprint to reform the policing service.

And the bulk of the rest are only “somewhat familiar” about it, according to a survey of frontline garda supervisors.

Details of the survey were revealed at the second day of the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors in Co Cavan this morning.

The survey focused on 1,820 members of the association with a response rate of 44%, or 802.

Asked about the landmark Policing Commission report, published last September, just over a third of members said they were “not familiar at all” with the report or the Government's implementation plan, which was published last December.

A further 56% said they were only “somewhat familiar” with the documents.

In addition, almost nine out of ten supervisors said they did not know how the reports will impact on their role in the future.

The officers were also asked about their knowledge of the internal Garda Modernisation and Renewal (or Transformation) Programme, which had been devised to implement various Garda Inspectorate reports.

Members said they did not feel adequately informed about it and one in five said they were “not familiar at all” with the Transformation Programme.

They said the Transformation Programme was "still somewhat of a mystery" and 90% said there had been inadequate investment by the Government in it.

Supervisors said there was “fear, uncertainty and low confidence levels about the future of the job” and how they could practically implement new initiatives.

They said their main source of information about the proposed changes came from the association, media reports or canteen chatter.

Gardaí complained that their management seldom informed them of proposed changes while training was always launched at the last minute.

One member said; "We all want to be part of a modern police force but making changes for the sake of it, without full backing and forethought, is only going to make members go against them".

Another said emails about new initiatives were being sent out as a tick the box exercise with no proper training in many cases.

The respondents said they had good knowledge of the code of ethics, little knowledge of roster management and performance accountability and no knowledge of the divisional policing model, the project on workforce modernisation or the garda national cybercrime bureau.

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