Wednesday 21 August 2019

Almost 90pc of gardai don't know how major blueprint for the force will impact them

AGSI General Secretary John Jacob. Photo: Steve Humphreys
AGSI General Secretary John Jacob. Photo: Steve Humphreys
(Stock picture)
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

ALMOST nine in ten gardai say they have no idea how a major blueprint on the future of policing will impact on their role.

And nearly a fifth of mid ranking members of the force claim they are not familiar with the transformation programme that is aimed at modernising the Garda organisation.

These are some of the stark findings of a survey, carried out on behalf of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors.

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

The findings show that the transformation programme is "still somewhat of a mystery" to garda supervisors, the association conference was told in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, this afternoon.

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.

More than a third said they knew little about the report from the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and its implementation plan while 56pc were "somewhat familiar".

Other findings include :

  • 90pc feel there will be inadequate investment from the government for the implementation of the transformation programme
  • 80pc say they have no knowledge of the range of pilot change initiatives currently under way around the country.
  • Gardai 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 cyber crime bureau.

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