Wednesday 23 May 2018

Garda is criticised for rate of reform

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Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Garda trainees have been leaving the college at Templemore without driver training, while structures have not been put in place to enable gardaí to asses risk, a damning report says.

An Garda Síochána is facing harsh criticism from the Policing Authority for not implementing recommendations from a previous report to improve the standard of policing here.

A review was presented to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan as an assessment of the force's progress in implementing recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate report 'Changing Policing in Ireland'.

In relation to trainees not receiving proper driving training, the report said the problem was increasing and was a risk that needed to be addressed immediately.

Among tasks not completed by the Garda was the recruitment of a senior civilian risk management officer and the development of a system to provide accurate attendance management data for gardaí and staff.

A priority for the force has been to identify positions from which gardaí can be redeployed and replaced by "suitably qualified" civilians.

The report said the medium-term goal was to have 20pc of the overall Garda workforce as civilians.

It found most recommendations gardaí said were completed, had not been.

Of the 50 the force claimed were completed, the Policing Authority was only satisfied with nine.

However, it praised the work of gardaí in implementing recommendations and issues relating to victims, such as victims' support services.

"The considerable work undertaken by the Garda Síochána in this area and the positive outcomes for victims of crime deserves to be acknowledged," it said.

"The Authority recognises the progress made in a number of areas, however, the key issues previously identified persist.

"Specifically, these include the adequacy of reporting and governance arrangements, the pace of change and the need for more dynamic prioritisation of resources."

The minister said while there has been welcome progress in key areas, including victim services, significant improvements were required in respect of the pace of implementation of the Garda Inspectorate's recommendations.

"The Policing Authority is performing an important task in overseeing this process and in supporting gardaí in implementing the reform agenda," said Mr Flanagan.

Irish Independent

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