The Policing Authority welcomes the publication yesterday of the third interim report of the tribunal of inquiry chaired by the Honourable Mr Justice Peter Charleton.
Many of the key observations and recommendations echo and lend important impetus to the Authority’s ongoing work overseeing the Garda Síochána’ s performance in areas such as visible policing, obligations to the community, culture, ethics and ensuring there is enduring, transparent and challenging expectation of excellent policing. Examples of excellent police work, and the commitment of thousands of women and men in the Garda Síochána, as noted by Mr. Justice Charleton, are also the Authority’s experience.
The Authority established a Code of Ethics for the Garda Síochána in December 2016 and has continued since then to oversee the Commissioner’s work to embed the Code of Ethics and to press Garda leadership to make it a central to all aspects of the work of all Garda members and staff. This Code, and the work done by the Authority in reviewing and assessing the Garda Protected Disclosures policy, can support the Garda Commissioner in providing the right environment for staff to speak up.
The importance of proper management, supervision and performance management at all levels of the organisation has been emphasised and included by the Authority in the Policing Plan for 2018. Mr Justice Charleton references matters relating to the selection of senior officers which the Authority will consider very carefully in light of its responsibility, since January 2017, for the selection and appointment of senior Garda members and for the nomination to Government of the Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner.
The Authority also welcomes Commissioner Harris’s statement of acknowledgement of the obligations of the Garda Síochána to the truth, society and the vulnerable. The findings and recommendations in the report relevant to the Policing Authority’s functions will be considered by the Authority and discussed with Commissioner at its meeting on 24 October.