The Policing Authority welcomes the announcement today of a recruitment competition for Garda trainees. The Garda Síochána organisation has continued to grow over the past number of years in line with the Government commitment given in 2016 to augment the policing service to a strength of 15,000 Garda members, 4,000 Garda Staff and 2,000 Reserve.
The emphasis in today’s announcement on diversity of background and skill is particularly welcome. Speaking on the announcement Policing Authority Chairperson, Josephine Feehily, said
“A community’s confidence in policing is strengthened when the service reflects the diversity of the community. The Authority has consistently highlighted the importance of diversity in policing, both from the point of view of the policing of diverse communities and diversity within the Garda Síochána. It is heartening to see the explicit emphasis within this recruitment campaign on attracting applications from across the community.”
The emphasis on attracting a diversity of background but also of skills, recognises the breadth and depth of the role played by a Garda in modern policing. It also reflects the breadth of challenges faced by policing in what is a very dynamic environment. There are new security risks and new forms of crime. There has been a shift in the expectations of the community as to their entitlements in terms of the standard of service, transparency, accountability and professionalism expected in the delivery of policing. This increased complexity has an impact on the way the policing service organises itself and the skills it requires to deliver that service. Diversity of outlook, skills and background within the Garda members, Garda staff and Garda Reserve will be an important element in responding to that complexity.
The changes to the uniform requirements announced today brings the Garda Síochána into line with the policy adopted in many other jurisdictions. The changes to the uniform policy, as well as the research being conducted within communities that are under-represented in the Garda Síochána workforce are tangible measures that will hopefully underscore the organisation’s intent to attract and recruit from across the community it serves.
The Authority looks forward to receiving the Garda Síochána’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy later this year.