Thursday 29 September 2016

Mid-ranking gardaí worried there will be no senior officers to supervise new recruits

Daire Courtney

Published 09/09/2016 | 17:50

AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham. Photo: Damien Eagers
AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham. Photo: Damien Eagers

Mid-ranking gardaí have questioned the decision to recruit over 800 new members next year due to supervision concerns.

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Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) President Antoinette Cunningham said they welcomed the move but that they had serious concerns over supervision due to a lack of sergeants.

“We have already seen cases whereby supervision was cited as the cause of police failings. Have we learned nothing? This accelerated recruitment approach will not work unless a simultaneous response to supervision is activated.”

The AGSI also pointed to a continuing ‘brain drain’ from the force leaving behind a lack of knowledge and problems with supervision. Garda numbers are at an all-time low of 12,800 members, having fallen from 15,300 in 2008.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced the launch of the new Garda recruitment campaign, intended to get the size of the force back to 15,000 in four years. The Minister in particular urged “members of minority and new communities to consider applying so that the membership of An Garda Síochána will reflect the diverse communities that it serves.”

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