The credibility of our police has taken a battering over recent years.
The Smithwick report said it put collegiate loyalty ahead of anything else; the Garda Ombudsman has repeatedly warned that the force obstructs investigations; files in cases, ones that might reflect badly on the force, have gone missing; there was a scandal over points for errant drivers, and an investigation into allegations of fraudulent expense claims is under way.
The recruitment of gardaí begins today for the first time in five years. In the light of these issues, it might be wise for Justice Minister Alan Shatter to outline how the training of these recruits will be different from that given to their predecessors so as to arrest the decline in how the force behaves and end a culture undermining an institution on which we all rely.
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